Pregnancy in Diabetes: challenges and opportunities for improving pregnancy outcomes

H. R. Murphy, R. Bell, A. Dornhorst, R. Forde, N Lewis-Barned

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Our aim was to review the data from the National Pregnancy in Diabetes (NPID) audit, and to identify the challenges and opportunities for improving pregnancy outcomes in women with diabetes. We reviewed three years of NPID data and relevant diabetes and obstetric literature, and found that there has been little change in pregnancy preparation or outcomes over the past 3 years, with substantial clinic-to clinic variations in care. Women with Type 2 diabetes remain less likely to take 5 mg preconception folic acid (22.8% vs. 41.8%; P < 0.05), and more likely to take potentially harmful medications (statin and/or ACE inhibitor 13.0% vs. 1.8%; P < 0.05) than women with Type 1 diabetes. However, women with Type 1 diabetes are less likely to achieve the recommended glucose control target of HbA1c < 48 mmol/mol (6.5%) (14.9% vs. 38.1%; P < 0.05). The following opportunities for improvement were identified. First, the need to integrate reproductive health into the diabetes care plans of all women with diabetes aged 15–50 years. Second, to develop more innovative approaches to improve uptake of pre-pregnancy care in women with Type 2 diabetes in primary care settings. Third, to integrate insulin pump, continuous glucose monitoring and automated insulin delivery technologies into the pre-pregnancy and antenatal care of women with Type 1 diabetes. Fourth, to improve postnatal care with personalized approaches targeting women with previous pregnancy loss, congenital anomaly and perinatal mortality. A nationwide commitment to delivering integrated reproductive and diabetes healthcare interventions is needed to improve the health outcomes of women with diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292–299
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date16 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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