100 mothers and children re-traced for diabetes research a decade on
Researchers leading the Manchester-part of a worldwide study
into diabetes have managed to re-trace 100 mothers and children who
took part in a study into diabetes 12 years ago to look at their
Staff at The University of Manchester and Central Manchester
University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are currently conducting
the Hyperglycaemia and Pregnancy Outcomes (HAPO) Follow-up Study
funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH, America).
The study is a follow-up on approximately 28,000 women
worldwide, who took part in research over 10 years ago while they
were pregnant. The aim of the study then was to help understand how
blood sugar levels in pregnancy might impact on the unborn child in
healthy mothers who did not have diabetes. The then pregnant mother
had an Oral Glucose Tolerance test and the size of their babies was
measured a day after birth.
The 100th mother and child to take part in the study came
forward last week. Mum Tracy and her daughter Abigail (pictured),
now aged 12, from Tameside, attended the National Institute for
Health Research / Wellcome Trust Manchester Clinical Research
Facility for tests.
Tracy said: "I decided to do the study when I was pregnant
because we've got people in our family with diabetes and heart
problems. This time we got a letter asking if we wanted to take
part again and I gave Abigail the choice. She was a little nervous,
but was made to feel at ease while we had a blood test and the
researchers took our weight and height measurements.
"I think the research they are doing is important because your
lifestyle has a lot to do with whether you develop diabetes and
they can guide you if you need to make changes - fortunately our
results showed we were staying healthy. I'd definitely recommend
other mothers who did the original study to go along."
Professor Peter Clayton, Paediatric Endocrinologist at the Royal
Manchester Children's Hospital and Professor of Child Health and
Paediatric Endocrinology at The University of Manchester who is
leading the study, said: "In the original study 10 years ago we
found that the higher the mother's sugar level in pregnancy (but
well below the level that we would diagnose as diabetes) the more
likely her baby was to be bigger than expected. As a result, the
mothers were more likely to need a caesarean for delivery. Also in
those who delivered normally, there was a higher than expected rate
of difficulties with delivery for both mother and baby.
"This study will help us to understand how blood sugar levels in
pregnancy have affected the children as well as the mothers a
decade later and may be even give us some answers about how we
could prevent our next generation from developing diabetes and the
debilitating health problems that are associated with it."
This time, mum and child born in the HAPO study are to be given
another sugar test and measurements of body size will be repeated.
The blood test will be assessing not only for sugar levels, but
also how much insulin is being produced and how high blood fat
levels are, all known to be associated with Type 2 diabetes.
Professor Clayton added: "Reports out recently are suggesting
that rates of pre-diabetes may be as high as 35% in the UK.
If we are able to pick up early diabetes, changes in diet and
lifestyle would certainly help to slow down and may be even prevent
The researchers hope to trace 800 of the original 2,000 mothers
from Manchester who took part in the study.
If you remember taking part in the HAPO study at Saint Mary's
Hospital between 2001 and 2006, please get in touch with the
researchers and find out if you are eligible to take part. For more
information and advice please call 0161 701 0862 between office
hours or alternatively email the team on: HAPO @cmft.nhs.uk
Notes for editors
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