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DRWF Research: What would you like to know about diabetes and pregnancy?

DRWF Research: What would you like to know about diabetes and pregnancy?

DRWF in partnership with the University of Oxford and James Lind Alliance want your input into what are the big unanswered questions about diabetes and pregnancy.  

Published: May 29, 2020
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A DRWF-funded study is inviting women with diabetes, who are pregnant or have had children, to select what they feel are the most important issues related to diabetes and pregnancy.

Researchers at the University of Oxford are calling on women, their families and healthcare professionals to help prioritise research that will benefit women and families affected by diabetes and pregnancy.

The call follows a recent survey asking women, their families and friends, and healthcare professionals what were their most important questions about diabetes and pregnancy.

The responses have now been reviewed and a list of 60 questions that remain unanswered by research have been identified.

Those eligible to take part in the survey include: women with personal experience of pregnancy or planning a pregnancy with diabetes of any type; a partner, family member, friend, or someone else who supports a woman affected by diabetes in pregnancy; healthcare professionals.

From the long list you will be asked to select up to 10 questions that you think are most important for research to answer.

The estimated time required to complete the survey is around 20 minutes.

Click here to respond to the survey before 31st July

Dr Goher Ayman, co-lead of the study, of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, said: “More research is needed to help provide the best healthcare for women with or at risk of diabetes, who are planning pregnancy or are pregnant.

“We want to work with women, their support networks, and healthcare professionals to identify uncertainties about the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and health impacts of pregnancy with diabetes of any type. We are currently inviting people to suggest their questions about diabetes and pregnancy by completing our survey. Their questions will be used to produce a shortlist of priority research topics.”

Once analysed the top 10 questions will be shared widely with funders of research and researchers.

Women, their families and healthcare professionals who take part in this project, will therefore help future researchers focus on answering the questions of most importance to them.

The study will follow an established process developed by the James Lind Alliance,  that aims to help direct research funding towards the issues that matter most to patients and clinicians.

Around 38,000 (5%) of women giving birth in the UK each year are affected by diabetes and rates are increasing.

Although most have healthy babies, diabetes can increase the risk of complications, including premature birth and long-term risks such as cardiovascular disease in mothers and babies.

For mothers with diabetes there are many questions that remain unanswered by research and many women have reported a lack of information relating to diabetes and pregnancy.

Sonya Carnell, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after the birth of her first child and had diabetes during her second pregnancy, said: “Despite having a family history of diabetes, I was not aware of the risks relating to diabetes and pregnancy.

“Once I had been diagnosed, I read a lot about it and asked lots of questions, but I still found that there was a lack of information.

“I hope that by involving those with direct experience of the issue, this project will help to direct funding to the unanswered questions that affect me and many other women.”

Dr Eleanor Kennedy, DRWF Research Manager, said: “Diabetes and pregnancy is an important issue to many women, whether it is pregestational diabetes or pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy or so-called gestational diabetes, such as diabetes that you are diagnosed with during pregnancy.

“The risks to the mother and baby during pregnancy are significant and it is vital that women with diabetes who are pregnant or who are planning a family can input to and be helped through research like this to understand as much as possible about their own health and wellbeing and that of their baby too.”

The project is funded by the Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation, the University of Oxford John Fell Fund and the Nuffield Department of Population Health. Project partners are: the Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation, Diabetes UK, the James Lind Alliance, JDRF the type 1 diabetes charity, the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, and the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Click here to respond to the survey before 31st July

To find out more or participate in the project, please visit here. The project team are looking for input from those affected by all types of diabetes, including pregnancy with pre-existing diabetes, and gestational diabetes which develops during pregnancy.
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