Researchers have found a connection between large waistlines and triglyceride levels and gestational diabetes, according to an article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Doctors may be able to use these measurements as an early detection tool for gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes can be harmful to the pregnant mother and fetus. Testing for gestational diabetes can be very expensive and time-consuming. Researchers, looking for a better tool to predetermine women who are more likely to have problems with gestational diabetes, have found a link between waist circumference, triglycerides, and risk of gestational diabetes.

The study included 144 women less than 40 years of age. All women were patients at the Chicoutimi Hospital in Quebec Canada. Women who had both abdominal obesity and higher triglyceride levels were more likely to suffer from glucose intolerance in pregnancy or gestational diabetes; even if early pregnancy blood glucose levels were normal. Doctors noted the presence of one or the other did not have a significant effect. For instance, women who tested high for triglycerides but measured a normal waistline were not more likely to have gestational diabetes. The two symptoms have to be recorded at the same time.

Researchers and experts understand the pool of women studied is very small, but the results will lead to a larger study in hopes of giving doctors a new, less expensive tool to predict potential problems with gestational diabetes.

Source: Diane Brisson, Patrice Berron, Simon-Pierre Guay, Daniel Gaudet, Luigi Bouchard. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 20 September, 2010.