Gestational diabetes develops is 7% of the 4 million women who give birth in the United States each year. These 280,000 women are at risk for complications of pregnancy that can cause severe injury to both mother and baby, including death. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) has noted that this condition is increasing as obesity and older age at pregnancy become more frequent. Mothers with gestational diabetes are at higher risk for hypertension, preeclampsia, cesarean section and a 7 time increase risk of developing diabetes later in life. Their babies are at increased risk for macrosomia, hypoglycemia, hyperbilirubinemia, birth trauma, shoulder dystocia and Erb's Palsy. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 137 conclude that the 2 Stage test should be used rather than the shorter 1 Stage test.
The risk of developing dementia was closely correlated with Framingham Risk scores in a recent study that looked at 10 year cognitive decline. The findings provide doctors with information about middle aged risk factors for cardiovascular disease and later cognitive decline. Not only is increased risk for stroke and cardiac disease predictable, but now future dementia risk is also measurable. The good news is that by identifying risk factors early and treating them both with physical activity and diet as well as medication where appropriate, these adverse outcomes can be decreased.