News article

New simple tool to predict postpartum diabetes

Posted:  Monday, November 02, 2015

Published in Acta Diabetologica, their study evaluated the data of 257 cases of gestational diabetes between 1989 and 1999, and tracked the subjects for 20 years after childbirth. Parameters linked to the genesis of diabetes such as body mass index, genetic predisposition, whether the gestational diabetes was treated with insulin and whether the woman breastfed her infant were recorded. The following formula enabled the researchers to calculate the exact risk score:

Risk score = 5 x BMI (in early pregnancy) + 132 (if the gestational diabetes was treated with insulin) + 44 (if the woman had a family history of diabetes) – 35 (if the mother breastfed her baby)

A total of 110 subjects developed postpartum diabetes. Based on the abovementioned parameters, a point based system was created to predict the odds of postpartum diabetes within five years after childbirth. The system consists of 4 categories:

•   A score <140 indicates low-risk and is associated with a 11% probability of developing postpartum diabetes after a five-year interval

•   Scores between 141–220 indicate medium risk with 29% probability

•   Scores between 221–300 correspond to 64% probability

•   Scores over 300, the high-risk category, suggest 80% chances of developing diabetes

Commenting on the novel method, Prof. Anette-Gabriele Ziegler, Director of the Institute of Diabetes Research and Head of the research team said, “The test we developed is very easy to apply and in the future could be used in hospitals as a tool for predicting postpartum diabetes. This means that both the doctor and the patient are aware of the respective risk, and it allows diabetes checks to be more closely tailored to the patient’s individual needs.”

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