Women with Diabetes Have More C-sections and Fetal Complications

Author: St. Michael's Hospital
Published: 2010/09/17 - Updated: 2022/09/10
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Contents: Summary - Main - Related Publications

Synopsis: Nearly half of women with diabetes before pregnancy have a potentially-avoidable C-section, and their babies are twice as likely to die as those born to women without diabetes. Infants born to women with diabetes are at much higher risk of severe complications - which can be prevented by controlling glucose and blood pressure levels at conception and during pregnancy. By implementing policy, population health, and practice interventions, we can reduce these regional inequities and improve the health of both men and women with diabetes.

Cesarean Delivery

Cesarean delivery, also known as C-section or caesarean delivery, is used to deliver a baby through surgical incisions in the abdomen and uterus. Cesarean delivery is often performed because vaginal delivery puts the baby or mother at risk. The World Health Organization recommends that a cesarean section be performed only when medically necessary. Some C-sections are performed without a medical reason, upon request by someone, usually the mother. Cesarean delivery on maternal request (CDMR) is a cesarean section birth requested by a pregnant woman without a medical reason. A C-section typically takes 45 minutes to an hour. It may be done with a spinal block, where the woman is awake, or under general anesthesia.

Main Digest

Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital, the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), and Women's College Hospital say rates of diabetes in Ontario have doubled in the last 12 years. Nearly one in 10 Ontario adults has been diagnosed with diabetes, including more women than ever before.

As women develop type 2 diabetes (adult onset) during childbearing age, complications during pregnancy are becoming increasingly common.

"We are seeing more younger women living with diabetes. While older men still have higher rates than older women, women under 45 are getting diagnosed at the same rate as men in that age group," says Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, a scientist at the Women's College Research Institute at Women's College Hospital and ICES.

"This trend is having increasing implications for younger women. With more women having babies later in life, we see more women getting pregnant with diabetes. The POWER Study found that having diabetes before pregnancy significantly increases the risk of pregnancy and fetal complications."

The POWER (Project for an Ontario Women's Health Evidence-Based Report) Study, a joint study from St. Michael's Hospital and ICES, is the first in the province to provide a comprehensive overview of women's health regarding income, education, ethnicity, and geography. The findings are detailed in the report titled Diabetes-the Ninth Chapter to be released as part of the study. Policymakers and healthcare providers can use findings to improve Ontario women's access, quality, and care outcomes. The POWER Study was funded by Echo: Improving Women's Health in Ontario, an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

"By identifying the provincial variations in diabetes care, the Local Health Integration Networks can now use this data for priority setting, planning, and quality improvement activities," says Pat Campbell, CEO of Echo. "By implementing interventions at the policy, population health, and practice levels, we can reduce these regional inequities and improve the health of both men and women with diabetes."

The POWER study examined the impact of diabetes on Ontarians. Key findings include:

"Infants born to women with diabetes are at much higher risk for serious complications - which can be prevented by controlling glucose and blood pressure levels at the time of conception and during pregnancy," says Dr. Gillian Booth, a scientist at St. Michael's Hospital and scientist at ICES. "This reflects a need for more targeted pre-pregnancy counseling and better pregnancy care for this group of women."

"Diabetes is quickly becoming a worldwide epidemic, owing to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes - but most diabetes can be prevented," says Arlene Bierman, a physician at St. Michael's Hospital and principal investigator of the study. "We need to focus on preventing or reducing rates of diabetes among young women, one of the most vulnerable groups, and ensure that women who have diabetes get effective treatment," adds Dr. Bierman, also an ICES investigator.

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This peer reviewed publication pertaining to our Pregnancy Information section was selected for circulation by the editors of Disabled World due to its likely interest to our disability community readers. Though the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length, the article "Women with Diabetes Have More C-sections and Fetal Complications" was originally written by St. Michael's Hospital, and submitted for publishing on 2010/09/17 (Edit Update: 2022/09/10). Should you require further information or clarification, St. Michael's Hospital can be contacted at the stmichaelsfoundation.com website. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

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Cite This Page (APA): St. Michael's Hospital. (2010, September 17). Women with Diabetes Have More C-sections and Fetal Complications. Disabled World. Retrieved February 24, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/health/female/pregnancy/diabetes-c-sections.php

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