Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is diagnosed in pregnant women. Medical studies have shown that some women have high glucose levels in their blood, which rises further because their bodies have insufficient insulin to transport the glucose into their cells. Gestational diabetes can be mostly controlled through proper exercise and diet, while around 10% to 20% patients require medication for controlling their blood glucose. Air pollution, which has been linked to Type 2 diabetes in adults, has also been found to be associated with gestational diabetes. Here is a look at different studies that confirm air pollution as a serious concern for causing Gestational diabetes:
• According to research undertaken by scientists at the National Institutes of Health in Texas A&M University in College Station, US, and Rockville, Maryland, USA (Environmental Research, January 2015), from the 219,952 mothers surveyed, 11,334 were diagnosed with Gestational diabetes. The medical records showed that the risk of developing Gestational diabetes increased for those mothers who were exposed to sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides during the first three months of their pregnancy.
• Research studies at the Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, USA (Environmental Health Perspectives, April 2014) found that the chances of developing Gestational diabetes were more than twice for women who lived near major roads with high traffic densities than those who did not live in regions with high levels of air pollution.
• Tobacco smoke, a common reason for numerous health problems, has been proved as a key cause leading to Gestational diabetes. In a study carried out at the National Institutes of Health in North Carolina, USA (Environmental Health Perspectives, March 2012), women in the age group of 14 to 47 who had been exposed to tobacco smoke while in the womb were found to be 32% higher at risk of suffering diabetes during pregnancy than those women whose mothers did not smoke.
Source: Mayo Clinic