Danish gestational diabetes patients unlike other women | Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy
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Danish gestational diabetes patients unlike other women

In 2017, when Australian professor David McIntyre first came to Denmark as a visiting professor, his aim was to help ensure successful implementation of the new WHO screening criteria for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Now, when he comes to Aarhus University on a new visiting professorship, he has a different aim in mind. He and his Danish colleagues have shown that Danish women with gestational diabetes differ from women elsewhere in the world, so that international diagnostic cutoffs cannot be applied in Denmark. National diagnostic criteria therefore need to be devised – a job he is looking forward to being involved in.

‘A major project is already planned that will generate data and provide a basis for diagnosing GDM as precisely as possible in Danish women. In this project, I aim to contribute a new diagnostic approach not based solely on blood sugar levels, but also using other parameters such as obesity in the pregnant woman and information on previous pregnancies’, he says.

His overriding aim in all his work in Denmark has been to improve care for Danish women with gestational diabetes mellitus. His research plan includes three main components, all based on projects and collaborations that he helped establish during his earlier DDA visiting professorship from 2017 to 2019, and that he very much wants to build on.

‘Firstly, I wish to collaborate with Danish researchers to find the best possible approach to GDM diagnosis in Denmark. Secondly, I want to help Danish women with gestational diabetes get the best possible treatment’, he says.

As far as general treatment is concerned, the plan is especially to look, in a variety of projects, at high-risk groups such as the severely overweight, women who have had gastric bypass surgery and severely insulin-resistant pregnant women, who need large volumes of insulin as part of their treatment for GDM.

The third front is to improve care for women with GDM post partum.

‘Although many people believe GDM goes away after the birth, the risk to both mother and child of developing metabolic disease is increased for life. For the mother, there is an increased risk of developing diabetes and obesity, and also high blood pressure and heart disease. Children of GDM mothers also have a greater risk of developing diabetes and obesity, so there is a real need for more comprehensive measures encompassing the whole family. Such a family-based national GDM project, which I am also involved in, has just started’, says David McIntyre.

 

CONTACT

Professor David McIntyre

Director of Obstetric Medicine | Head of UQ Mater Clinical Unit
UQ Mater Clinical Unit Mater Health | South Brisbane | Qld 4101
t: 07 3163 3641        f: 07 3163 2510    
e: 
david.mcintyre@mater.org.au    w: materhealth.org.au

 

‘Although many people believe GDM goes away after the birth, the risk to both mother and child of developing metabolic disease is increased for life. For the mother, there is an increased risk of developing diabetes and obesity, and also high blood pressure and heart disease. Children of GDM mothers also have a greater risk of developing diabetes and obesity.’