UPBEAT: how to predict gestational diabetes in obese women

Tommy’s are supporting researchers to develop a test that could be used early in pregnancy to tell if a woman is likely to develop diabetes.

At the moment, all obese women are treated the same when it comes to the risk of developing diabetes – even though more than 70% don’t get it. Finding out who is most at risk could help to focus care and support where it is needed the most. We wanted to do this by creating a test that would be used to predict the chances of diabetes early on in pregnancy.

Scientists took body measurements and blood samples from over 1,300 women taking part in the UPBEAT trial. We created models that used combinations of clinical factors and the presence of 21 different “marker” substances in the blood. These models showed promise in being able to pick out women at risk of diabetes early in pregnancy.

We will now carry on testing our models, and in the future hope to use them to target help to mothers and babies most at risk of diabetes. 

Researchers

Professor Lucilla Poston, Dr Annette Briley, Dr Dharmintra Pasupathy, Mr Paul Seed, Sara L White, the UPBEAT Consortium

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Funding

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

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