City gynaecologists report a higher incidence of pregnancyinduced diabetes, or gestational diabetes, among young women in urban areas mostly due to undisciplined lifestyle, improper diet and lack of exercise before and during pregnancy. "The diabetes that women get in the sixth month of pregnancy is called gestational diabetes. Usually when pregnant women come for treatment we check for blood sugar and ask them to follow a certain diet and exercise. Also, pregnant women should not have sweets regularly. This pregnancy-induced diabetes is seen more in urban areas compared to rural areas," said Dr Shubha Rama Rao, head of OBG department at St Martha's Hospital. She sees at least 20 to 25 expecting mothers with gestational diabetes out of the 250 patients who visit her every week. Another 25% are inflicted with known diabetes, she added.
A recent study in Bengaluru by the Asian Research and Training Institute for Skill Transfer (ARTIST) found more than 15% of pregnant women affected by gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), even without a diabetic family history in case of some patients.
Dr Hema Divakar, gynaecologist and chairperson of ARTIST, said, "Indian population is more prone to diabetes which makes it one of the primary causes for gestational diabetes. Fat acts as a natural insulin resistant which increases the risk of diabetes, so obese women are more prone to GDM. Risks of GDM increases with age, so it is advised to conceive by late 20s or early 30s. Also, those with polycystic ovaries have greater chance of acquiring gestational diabetes."