Ms He Ting Ru asked the Minister for Health (a) in each of the last five years, how many pregnant women are diagnosed as having gestational diabetes; and (b) what are the efforts to combat and lower the incidence and impact of gestational diabetes.
Mr Ong Ye Kung: Based on data from public hospitals, the average number of pregnant women diagnosed with gestational diabetes in our public hospitals from 2017 to 2021 was approximately 2,950 each year.
Women can lower their risks of gestational diabetes by achieving an optimal weight gain and adopting a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy. Pregnant women can access the Health Promotion Board’s Parent Hub portal for resources on maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index through exercising regularly and adopting a healthier diet.
Gestational diabetes screening is offered to pregnant women between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation. Women with gestational diabetes will be closely monitored and managed with lifestyle interventions and may be referred to nurse counsellors for advice. Some may require medication or insulin injections for blood glucose control.
It is estimated that four in 10 women with a history of gestational diabetes develop diabetes or pre-diabetes when measured four to six years after delivery. As such, between six and 12 weeks post-delivery, they will be screened for diabetes. If gestational diabetes has resolved, they will be recommended to continue lifestyle interventions and attend diabetes screening every one to three years. Post-delivery, women of any age with a history of gestational diabetes are eligible for subsidised diabetes screening under the existing Screen for Life programme package.
The Agency for Care Effectiveness has recently updated the Appropriate Care Guide in August 2022 on recommendations for screening, diagnosis and follow-up for gestational diabetes to provide the latest evidence-based guidance to support clinicians better.
Ministry of Health
4 October 2022