Girls with gestational diabetes lack perceived threat of creating kind 2 diabetes


While it’s an unfair reality that women who develop gestational diabetes are 10 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life, only a third of these women realize they are at high risk, according to new research from the University of South Australia .

The study, carried out in collaboration with University College Dublin, examined the views of 429 Australian women with a history of gestational diabetes, their perceived risks for developing type 2 diabetes, potential barriers to weight loss, and useful strategies to support a healthy lifestyle Determine weight.

Kristy Gray, lead researcher at UniSA, says understanding the risks of developing type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes is important because prevention is key.

Gestational diabetes is the fastest growing type of diabetes in Australia and affects thousands of pregnant women each year. and it affects almost one in five pregnancies worldwide. “

Kristy Gray, Senior Researcher, University of South Australia

“Women with gestational diabetes are ten times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, but only a third of these women know they are at high risk.

“Obesity is a common risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, so weight loss after pregnancy is important to prevent the disease from occurring.

“While 75 percent of the women surveyed in our study understood that they were overweight, this knowledge did not result in a high perceived risk.”

Co-researcher Jennifer Keogh, associate professor at UniSA, says diabetes prevention strategies need to include both education and lifestyle.

“Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes often have young families, which means that all interventions must be considered consistent with young children, a busy lifestyle, and multiple priorities,” says Dr. Keogh.

“The priority is to educate both women with gestational diabetes and their healthcare professionals to ensure better communication and awareness of these women’s risk factors.

“This is critically important because nearly a quarter of the women in this study were not tested for type 2 diabetes after conceiving with gestational diabetes.

“We also know that the most effective time to initiate and commit to healthy lifestyle and behavior changes is up to two years after pregnancy, so interventions during this period are likely to be more effective.

“The motivation to lose weight is a significant barrier to change – whether it is because of a busy family or because lifestyle change can be difficult to adhere to. Consistent education, strong messaging, and personal attention can create positive change.

“Prevention is key. Ensuring that women’s needs, views and situations are addressed is an integral part of the solution.”


University of South Australia

Journal reference:

Gray, KL et al. (2021) Barriers to Weight Loss for Women, Perceptions of Future Risk of Diabetes, and Opinions on Nutritional Strategies After Gestational Diabetes: An Online Survey. International journal of environmental research and public health.