Alberta Health Services and the University of Calgary are partnering up to join an international health study. The goal of the study is to determine if a blood sugar monitoring device can help diabetic pregnant women keep both themselves and their unborn children safe.
The study tests the effectiveness of continuous glucose monitors (CGM) during pregnancy. CGMs are inserted into the abdomen, where sensors pick up on blood sugar levels, and send out the results to a small monitor that can be carried around.
Dr. Lois Donovan is in Calgary, and is helping to coordinate the study. Dr. Donovan says there are many risks for mothers and their unborn children who live with Type 1 Diabetes:
· High blood sugar can cause babies to be born overweight
· High blood sugar can also cause other health scares that make deliveries difficult
· Diabetic symptoms in mothers during conception also risks birth deficiencies for the babies
Dr. Donovan believes diabetic expecting mothers can benefit from CGMs, and also help ensure their children are born healthy.
“By providing regular, nearly constant feedback, a continuous glucose monitor shows women which way their blood sugar levels are trending, and whether they need to take corrective action.”
The Calgary leg of the study will ideally involve as many as 60 pregnant women, while seven other research centres in Ontario will also administer their own tests.
Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto is leading the Canadian chapters of the study. Mount Sinai is also partnered with an experienced cord blood banking program – cord blood is also subjected to testing as a viable source of therapy for Type 1 Diabetes.