Photo: Tonny Foghmar, Aarhus University Hospital.

Gestational diabetes increases the risk of hypertension/preeclampsia, birth complications, caesarean section, shoulder dystocia and very high birth weight.

A new study from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University in collaboration with researchers from Rigshospitalet and Odense University Hospital has analysed all births (approximately 400,000) in Denmark between 2004 and 2010.

During this period, an average of 2.3% of the women had gestational diabetes; the number increased each year and in 2010, 3.2% developed gestational diabetes. This increase is associated with the increasing prevalence of overweight in Denmark. The majority of women with gestational diabetes included in this study were overweight (71%) or obese (41%).

Complications associated with gestational diabetes are also seen among heavy pregnant women. When adjusting for body mass index (BMI), women with gestational diabetes have more complications.

- We are especially concerned with the increased number of very large children; these children risk being overweight for the rest of their lives, says consultant Per Ovesen.

Women with gestational diabetes have a considerable risk of developing diabetes later in life. New Danish studies have shown that approximately half of the women develop type 2 diabetes within the first 10 years after the birth.

- On the basis of these results, it should be recommended that pregnant women with gestational diabetes are followed closely not only during pregnancy but also in the years after the birth, says Per Ovesen.

Results are published in the article below:
Maternal and neonatal outcomes in pregnancies complicated by gestational diabetes. A nation-wide study. Ovesen P, Jensen D, Damm P, Rasmussen S, Kesmodel U. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2014 Sep 17:1-14.

Further information:
Per Ovesen, Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Aarhus University Hospital
Tel.:+45 7845 3320, e-mail  

Revideret 09-01-2018