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Pre-conception and antenatal care in type 2 diabetes

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The UK is experiencing a dramatic increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Consequently, there is a corresponding increase in T2D in pregnancy, with around a quarter of pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes having T2D. Although the risks to mother and baby are similar to type 1 diabetes (T1D), the approach and management often differ.

Pregnant women with T2D are more likely to be older, multiparous and live in deprived areas. Certain ethnic groups are more prone to T2D and there is a strong association with being overweight or obese.

Furthermore, some investigations have shown that women with T2D often receive suboptimal care prior to conception and in early pregnancy, particularly in primary care.

Prevalence of T2D in pregnancy

The occurrence of T2D in pregnancy is a relatively new phenomenon. In previous generations women of childbearing age were considered to be at low risk because until recently T2D was a condition related to older people in the general population.1

However, this situation has changed significantly, with increasing numbers of younger people diagnosed with T2D, including an estimated 1.5 per cent of children with diabetes now thought to have T2D, whereas prior to 2002 T2D was unknown in children.2

Recent reports have highlighted the growing prevalence of T2D in pregnancy.


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