The number of pregnant women with early-onset type 2 diabetes now outnumbers those with type 1 diabetes, according to NHS Digital’s latest audit into pregnancy.
Between January 2021 and December 2022, a total of 10,225 pregnancies were recorded for women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Latest results show that 55 per cent of expectant mothers had type 2 diabetes and 45 per cent had type 1 diabetes.
The audit also shows that pregnant women with type 2 diabetes are more likely to be from ethnic minorities and living in deprived areas compared to those with type 1 diabetes.
Ethnic minorities are also more likely to experience health inequalities before and during pregnancy. This finding is unchanged since 2014.
According to the authors, approximately 95 per cent of women with type 1 wore continuous glucose monitors in 2022, improving glucose levels for mothers and health outcomes for women and their babies.
In addition, they found that the rates of serious outcomes of women with type 2 diabetes and their babies increased in 2022.
However, the results show that pregnancy outcomes improved in those with type 1 diabetes, with fewer serious adverse pregnancy outcomes compared to the previous seven years.
The recommendations from this audit include:
Enable all women with type 1 diabetes of reproductive age to access diabetes technology (continuous glucose monitoring and hybrid closed-loop systems) to achieve their pregnancy glucose targets.
Improve glucose lowering using culturally appropriate dietary support, glucose monitoring and intensive insulin therapy to reduce the adverse trend of serious adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with early-onset type 2 diabetes.
Ensure that aiming for target glucose control (HbA1c<48mmol/mol) remains an imperative in women with diabetes.
Ensure that women with diabetes have access to effective methods of contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancy.
Offer monthly HbA1c checks, 5mg folic acid supplementation, medications review, weight management programmes, for those planning a pregnancy. Provide a rapid referral to specialist care when a pregnancy is confirmed.
To access the latest national pregnancy in diabetes audit, click here.