LOS ANGELES According to a study in the American Diabetes Association journal Diabetes Care, the number of pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes has more than doubled in seven years. Also, the study found that number of diabetic teenagers giving birth grew fivefold during the same period, which was from 1999 to 2005.
The researchers focused on health records from more than 175,000 ethnically diverse women who gave birth in a dozen hospitals in Southern California. Experts believe the findings likely reflect the overall U.S. population.
The actual number of pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes was small. In 1999, there were 245 such women; by 2005, there were 537. That translates to a rate that rose from 8 per 1,000 pregnancies to 18 per 1,000.
The rate increased the greatest among 13- to 19-year-olds giving birth. It ballooned from about 1 per 1,000 pregnancies to 5.5 per 1,000 during the seven-year period.
In the study, Kaiser researchers did not look at whether any of the women had prenatal diabetes care or how the babies fared after birth. They also could not determine the type of diabetes the women had.