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Independents' Day

I'm a pharmacist ­ not an amateur

One in six pregnant women with type 2 diabetes experiences serious adverse outcomes ­ with those on oral hypoglycaemic drugs particularly at risk ­ researchers warn.

Their study found treatment with oral hypoglycaemic drugs increased risk of congenital malformation by 80 per cent.

Around 45 per cent of women with type 2 diabetes were on oral hypoglycaemics and 78 per cent were not prescribed folic acid, which was also found to increase the risk of congenital malformation.

Researchers urged GPs to discuss the possibility of pregnancy with women of childbearing age to improve pre-pregnancy planning. Study leader Dr Jonathan Roland, consultant in diabetology at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, stressed being on oral hypoglycaemic drugs and not taking folic acid could just be markers of poor disease control but said their use in pregnancy was 'under debate'.

He said: 'They should come off sulphonylureas. I personally still have my patients on insulin, because insulin doesn't cross the placenta.'

Women with type 2 diabetes in the study, published in December's Diabetic Medicine, were at three times the risk of serious adverse outcomes of women with type 1 diabetes.

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