oa South African Medical Journal - Diabetes, pre-diabetes, mothers and babies*



*A paper read at the South African Medical Congress, Johannesburg, September 1952. The meaning of the 'prediabetic state' is discussed; its only evident manifestation is the production of large babies and stillbirths in a woman who later develops overt diabetes. This condition certainly exists in the Cape. It is considered important to diagnose this prediabetic state and the rather similar �asymptomatic diabetes"" since it may be possible to safeguard the life of future babies by special management of the mothers' deliveries. In Groote Sehuur Hospital our attempts to reduce the foetal loss rate of diabetic pregnancies are encouraging. Factors leading one to suspect the existence of asymptomatic diabetes or pre-diabetes are considered and it is emphasized that glycosuria is not always present during pregnancy in such patients. The glucose-tolerance curve is discussed. A single high 2- or 2 1/2-hour reading is regarded as being a warning of pre-diabetes, and in our series these slight aberrations of carbohydrate tolerance have been found closely connected with large babies and stillbirths. We suggest that 'pre-diabetes' can frequently be diagnosed and should be heeded.


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