For the first time ever, researchers from Semmelweis University in Budapest and the University of Debrecen have succeeded in identifying the parameters that allow determining with almost 100 percent accuracy who will develop diabetes during pregnancy, Semmelweis University announced in a press release.
Although it is one of the most common conditions during pregnancy, there has been no effective method for early prediction. They also point out that this condition affects more than 10 percent of pregnant women in Hungary (compared to about 17 percent worldwide).
The researchers measured samples from the biobank containing data, blood, and urine samples of 2,500 pregnant women at the University of Debrecen. The biobank was built between 2010 and 2012, therefore the outcome of pregnancies, the health status of children and mothers, and diseases were known.
Overall, five of the markers tested were found to reliably predict differences that were barely detectable at the beginning of pregnancy. The five laboratory parameters are fructosamine, showing the average of blood glucose levels in the preceding two to three weeks, suPAR, a protein involved in inflammatory processes, whose levels are high in type 1 and type 2 diabetics, and three steroid hormones (cortisol, cortisone, and 11-deoxycorticosterone).
The authors of the study: (L-R) Dr. Szabolcs Várbíró, Dr. Dóra Gerszi, Dr. Eszter Horváth.
Photo: Facebook/Semmelweis Egyetem
Traditional laboratory tests, risk factors (age, weight) were supplemented with the above mentioned specific parameters to track minor deviations. By evaluating both, they were able to provide the most accurate prediction to date. “At the same time, the method does not require any equipment that an average equipped laboratory does not have,” Dóra Gerszi, a researcher at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Semmelweis University, and first author of the paper explained.
Early detection is particularly important because gestational diabetes affects the lives of two people, the study said. In utero, the fetal environment can lead to lifelong changes, such as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
As described in the paper, early treatment of mothers, such as diet, can prevent weight gain and delay the development of type 2 diabetes. In fact, 60 percent of people with gestational diabetes develop the disease within ten years, as the predisposition is already present.
However, if blood glucose levels are within normal ranges during pregnancy and the mother’s weight is lower at the end, there is reduced chance of disease and subsequent complications, the researchers stressed. The next step, they said, is to make screening more accessible, and physicians are already planning to introduce screening for pregnant women under the care of Semmelweis University.
Via MTI, Featured images: Pixabay, Facebook/Semmelweis Egyetem