UPBEAT: why are some women with diabetes more likely to suffer pregnancy complications?

Professor Lucilla Poston, Dr Annette Briley, Dr Dharmintra Pasupathy, Mr Paul Seed, Dr Sara L White, Sir George Alberti, the UPBEAT consortium

Researchers supported by Tommy’s are looking at how we could predict which mothers with diabetes are more at risk.

The UPBEAT trial allowed us to collect a huge amount of information on obesity during pregnancy. This includes data on over 300 women who developed diabetes during their pregnancies. Some of these women had completely normal births, while others suffered from complications. We want to understand what makes some women more likely to experience problems.

Over the last 12 months, we have completed our analysis of 1555 obese women who took part in the UPBEAT trial throughout pregnancy. We have been looking at factors such as ethnicity and family history of diabetes, as well as studying blood samples for “markers” that might give us clues of when a woman is at risk. By doing this, we’ll be able to see if any of these make it more likely for certain women with diabetes to have problems during pregnancy. 

This work will be completed in 2018, with the hope that we’ll find results that can help us predict which women with diabetes are more at risk of complications during pregnancy. The earlier we know this, the better we can plan medical care that will help mother and baby have the best chance of a safe, healthy pregnancy. 

Get our research updates

Tommy's funds research across the UK investigating the reasons for pregnancy complications and loss. We can keep you updated on our research news. If you're interested in being kept updated about our research and news from Tommy's, click here.


This study takes place in a Tommy's centre and is funded by Tommy's, the National Institute for Health Research, Chief Scientist Office Scotland, Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, Diabetes UK and the Medical Research Council

Hide details

    Was this information useful?

    Yes No