Women with type-2 diabetes have nearly a five-fold increased risk of suffering the heartbreak of a stillbirth, researchers have warned. Picture: Pexels

London - Women with type-2 diabetes have nearly a five-fold increased risk of suffering the heartbreak of a stillbirth, researchers have warned.

Experts tracked 5 392 babies born to 3 847 mothers with diabetes in Scotland between April 1998 and June 2016.

They found those with type-1 diabetes, an autoimmune condition linked to genetics, had three times the risk of stillbirth.

But for type-2 diabetes – largely associated with obesity and lifestyle – the risk increased 4.7-fold compared to women without diabetes.

The researchers said high blood sugar levels and obesity, both key features of the condition, are "key modifiable risk factors" to reduce stillbirths. 

Dr Sharon Mackin of Glasgow University, who carried out the study published in the Diabetologia journal, said: "Women with diabetes should make contact with their diabetes clinic as soon as they get a positive pregnancy test so we can see and support them early on."

Dr Emily Burns of Diabetes UK said: "Most women with diabetes have healthy babies, but this reinforces the importance of supporting women to manage their blood glucose levels if planning a pregnancy."

Daily Mail