Risk for type 2 diabetes starts during pregnancy, study says 

New research from Lund University in Sweden further highlights the relationship between diabetes and "fetal programming events" - the idea that the intrauterine environment can play a significant role in risk for metabolic problems later in life.

Current guidelines about type 2 diabetes prevention focus strongly on lifestyle changes or medication use. But Paul Franks, author of the new review and professor of Genetic Epidemiology, suggests there are other important factors that should be considered when designing intervention strategies. 

His upcoming work will focus on identifying how these factors influence risk during pregnancy. 

"We will try to identify novel biomarkers that detect primordial defects arising in pregnancy or early childhood," said study co-author Angela Estampador. "The results of this work should help inform guidelines to substantially improve prevention of diabetes."

Under- or over-nourished pregnancies

Diabetes risk seems to increase in offspring who are either under-nourished or over-nourished in pregnancy, a press release on the study stated, which means that weight moderation and blood sugar control will almost certainly lower future diabetes risk for the baby. This holds true even if a mother doesn't have gestational diabetes, the researchers said.

"The message should never be to blame the mother, but rather to empower her through the awareness and expansion of choice regarding possibilities in improving their child's health," Estampador said.

The study is published in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity.

Source:
Lund University

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