An Israeli researcher has statistically proven that the common test used to detect gestational diabetes in women and their children (a temporary condition which can harm both mother and child if left untreated) also accurately predicts adult-onset Type II diabetes later in life.
In his latest research, reported in the journal Diabetic Medicine, Chodick found that nearly half the women who fail all four of the four-part tests, demonstrating an elevated blood sugar level, developed Type II diabetes within ten years. Those who failed three of the four tests had a 20 percent overall chance of developing the disease within the same period.
He recommends that women in the highest-risk group receive counseling and intervention to prevent the onset of diabetes, which can greatly diminish quality of life and lead to heart disease, blindness and liver cancer.
In the first-ever study to show the long-term health of those who fail the test, the researchers collected data on more than 185,000 women, then acquired information from the health registry as to what percentage of these women contracted diabetes later in life.
Women with gestational diabetes are advised to exercise and supplement their diet with fiber and fruit (and in extreme cases to take insulin injections), but after giving birth, most resume adverse eating and lifestyle habits.
Chodick warns that gestational diabetes currently affects three to five percent of all pregnant women in the US, and rates are continuing to rise.
He says he is concerned because in the US, Israel and Europe HMOs are considering the elimination of the glucose battery test from their covered procedures, which may endanger fetal health.