10% pregnant Qatari women suffer from gestational diabetes

January 17, 2011

About 10 per cent of pregnant women in Qatar suffer from gestational diabetes and face higher pregnancy risks, a senior consultant has said.

“The Gestational Diabetes (GDM) affects both mother and infants. It can lead to maternal complications like miscarriage, increased insulin requirement causing hypoglycemia, infection, ketoacidosis, deterioration in retinopathy, increased proteinuria, ployhydraminos, shoulder dystocia, preeclampsia, and increased C-secretion,” Dr Amin Jayyousi, senior consultant of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism department at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), said.

GDM is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. While experts believe that in 95 per cent of the cases the diabetes disappears after childbirth, women suffering from this disease are more likely to develop serious complications during pregnancy.

“GDM can also affect the baby causing several congenital malformations like anomalies in the heart, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system,” Jayyousi said on the concluding day of the First AACEGulf Conference on Diabetes, Obesity and other Endocrine Diseases, Qatar Tribune daily reported on Monday.

“It increases the risks to neonatal and perinatal mortality and late stillbirths. In some instances, it leads to macrosomia wherein the baby grows up to as large as 4kg or more than nine pounds. This leads to a problem during delivery. That’s why we have almost 50 percent of women ending up with caesarian operation.” Jayyousi said.

Women with gestational diabetes are advised to continue a long term follow-up treatment.

“Fifty percent of women suffering from GDM now will have diabetes after 20 years. Newborn babies also need to have follow-up check-ups because they are six times more prone to have diabetes because their mothers had GDM. The most important thing is to educate pregnant women to reduce weight before their pregnancy. Obesity and weight gain during pregnancy are the main factors that lead to gestational diabetes,” Jayyousi said.

Dr Mahmoud Alzyoud, consultant of paediatric endocrinology and diabetes paediatric department at the HMC, said the incidence of Type 1 diabetes (DM) among children in Qatar has increased from 13 per cent in 1995 to 30 per cent in 2005.

“Diabetes among children occurs due to dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle,” he said.

Dr Enrique Caballero, assistant professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and director of the Joslin Latino Diabetes Initiative, refuted the notion that taking insulin leads to greater risks of cancer.

“There have been some cases where patients on insulin treatment have been affected by cancer,” he said. “But there is no conclusive evidence that insulin increases the risk for malignancy.”




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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