DIABETIES IN PREGNANCY
Diabetes in pregnancy is an under-recognized, under-prioritized health issue with significant implications for women, newborns, and children throughout their lives.
[Diabetes in Pregnancy Photo Contest Nimai Chandra Ghosh and Women Deliver]
Diabetes is one of the most common conditions seen in pregnancy, affecting 10–25 percent of pregnancies globally, and about 1 in 7 births. The disease is treatable and preventable, but left unaddressed it can significantly increase a woman’s risk of life-threatening complications from pregnancy—like hemorrhage, hypertension, obstructed labor, and infection. It also increases the risk of stillbirth and poses serious threats to the health of newborns, including death from respiratory problems and permanent disability.
The effects of diabetes in pregnancy are far reaching. This health issue jeopardizes healthy populations, sustainable health systems, and the general wellbeing of a community. For example, diabetes in pregnancy is the most reliable marker of future type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke in women. Children born to women with diabetes in pregnancy are eight times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and more likely to develop obesity in teenage years or adulthood. The burden of diabetes in pregnancy is growing and is not confined to high-resource settings or countries. It is a serious and growing issue in all regions of the world and at all income levels – in fact, 92 percent of cases occur in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs).
[Diabetes in Pregnancy Photo Contest PC Supriya Biswas and Women Deliver]
We are calling on governments around the world to seize the opportunity of the 2018 High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) at the United Nations General Assembly to take deliberate and concerted action to address the toll of diabetes in pregnancy – to save lives, improve maternal health, and curb intergenerational transmission of NCDs.