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Diabetes in Pregnancy 100 Years after the Discovery of Insulin: Hot Topics and Open Questions to be Addressed in the Coming Years

Ravi Retnakaran
Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental 2021 April 7, : 154772
33838145
By making it possible for women with diabetes to achieve their family planning goals, the discovery of insulin ushered in the field of diabetes in pregnancy. The ensuing century has witnessed tremendous advances, with clinical focus on preconception planning and maternal glycemic control making successful pregnancy an achievable goal. Currently, the global epidemic of overweight/obesity has led to maternal hyperglycemia now affecting one in every six pregnancies worldwide, prompting intense research interest. Topics of particular interest include (i) the optimal approach to diagnosing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM); (ii) the emergence of GDM as a chronic metabolic disorder identifying future risk of non-communicable disease; (iii) the transgenerational impact of maternal glycemia as per the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease; and (iv) the application of new technology for optimizing clinical management. These topics have raised exciting questions such as (i) whether the treatment of diabetes in pregnancy can impact growth/development in childhood, (ii) whether GDM can be prevented, and (iii) whether the diagnosis of GDM could facilitate the prevention of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Indeed, this field may be on the precipice of a golden era of new concepts and evidence to optimize the health of mother and child.

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