''Indian women have highest GDM in South Asia''

Chennai, Feb 25 (PTI): Indian women have the highestfrequency of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) in SouthAsia, making the foetus vulnerable to diabetes, two city-baseddoctors said here today.

The doctors were addressing a press meet at the launch ofPrevention of Diabetes in the Mother and Child Project by DrSeshiah Diabetes Research and Dr Balaji Diabetes Care Centrein association with global healthcare brand Novo Nordisk.

Dr V Seshiah and Dr V Balaji said 16.55 per cent of Indianwomen suffer from GDM, making the child vulnerable to Type 2diabetes and said the latest project being funded by NovoNordisk would conduct research over 15 years, focussing on avariety of factors, including cause, diagnosis and awareness.

"A lack of control of sugar intake affects the foetus,resulting in the birth of an overweight child which isvulnerable to diabetes. Therefore, prevention is veryimportant," Dr Seshiah told a press conference here.

Dr Balaji said the study would "reveal answers for manyquestions" on diabetes and said the research would studyspecific communities and target groups in urban, semi-urbanand rural areas.

"This community-based study will be extrapolated and wewill be releasing interim reports," he added.

This was a ''first-of-its-kind'' initiaitive in India, DrSeshiah said.

Both doctors said that most Indian women gain weight duringpregnancy due to consumption of an unhealthy diet and lack ofphysical activity, unaware of impact of GDM on her developingType 2 diabetes as well as the impact on her child.

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