London: Diabetes during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects, such as congenital heart disease and spina bifida, by four-fold, researchers say.National guidelines already recommend having good control over blood sugar levels before trying to conceive.Both Type 1 diabetes, which tends to appear in childhood, and Type 2 diabetes, largely as a result of diet, lead to problems controlling the amount of sugar in the blood.This is known to cause problems in pregnancy, such as birth defects, miscarriage and the baby being overweight due to too much sugar.There is concern that rising levels of diabetes, particularly Type 2, could make the issue worse.For the new study, researchers at Newcastle University analysed data from 401,149 pregnancies in the northeast of England between 1996 and 2008 - 1,677 women had diabetes.
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