Gestational diabetes research to determine best treatment for pregnant women
Head of the Women’s Diabetes Clinic, Dr Tom Cade, has received a $20,000 scholarship to complete research on gestational diabetes and changes to the way it is diagnosed, which came into effect in 2016.
The change in diagnostic testing was recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) due to new research data on the relationship between glycaemia and pregnancy outcomes.
“The change in diagnostic testing has doubled the amount of women coming through the clinic,” Dr Cade said. “The aim of my research is to assess whether the new criteria for gestational diabetes result in better maternal and neonatal outcomes and is the change economically beneficial to public health.”
Dr Cade said his research, funded in part by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) Foundation scholarship, would compare all women seen through the clinic in 2014 under the old diagnostic system and all those from 2016 under the new system.
“Gestational diabetes is one of the ‘big three’ conditions of pregnancy that affect large volumes of patients and pose a big cost and workload burden on the health system, the other two being preterm birth and pre-eclampsia,” Dr Cade said.
“Research on gestational diabetes is extremely vital if we are to improve women’s health outcomes and efficiencies in the health system.”
Dr Cade said he hoped the research would indicate whether some women identified as at risk of gestational diabetes would benefit from treatment as simple as dietary and lifestyle modification.