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Complications of Pregnancy
Poorly controlled diabetes before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy can cause major birth defects in 5 percent to 10 percent of pregnancies and spontaneous abortions in 15 percent to 20 percent of pregnancies.
Poorly controlled diabetes during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy can result in excessively large babies, posing a risk to both mother and child.
Uncontrolled diabetes often leads to biochemical imbalances that can cause acute life-threatening events, such as diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar (nonketotic) coma.
People with diabetes are more susceptible to many other illnesses and, once they acquire these illnesses, often have worse prognoses. For example, they are more likely to die with pneumonia or influenza than people who do not have diabetes.
Diabetes can affect many parts of the body and can lead to serious complications, such as:
- Kidney damage
- Lower-limb amputations.
Working together, people with diabetes and their healthcare providers can reduce the occurrence of these and other diabetes complications by controlling the levels of blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood lipids, and by receiving other preventive care in a timely manner.
Studies in the United States and abroad have found that improved glycemic control benefits people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In general, every percentage point drop in A1c blood test results (for example, from 8 percent to 7 percent) reduces the risk of microvascular complications (eye, kidney, and nerve disease) by 40 percent.