Dr Huynh Xuan Nghiem, Deputy Head of Hung Vuong Hospital in HCM City, said: “The increase is alarming. This is a burden on both families and society. ”
He said that women who test positive for diabetes should be closely monitored during their pregnancy.
At a recent launch ceremony to open diabetes management division for Hung Vuong Hospital, Dr Huynh Nguyen Khanh Trang, head of the ward for pregnant women with diseases, said that only 2% -3% of 1 million pregnant women who had visited the hospital for routine prenatal care had diabetes 20 years ago.
The proportion has increased to 10-15%, Trang said.
Diabetes can occur during pregnancy when the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin.
When diabetes is detected, patients are asked to change their diet. Sixty percent of patients who receive guidance have a stable blood-sugar level.
Of the remaining proportion with an unstable blood-sugar level, the patients are hospitalised and eat meals provided by the hospital’s nutrition ward.
With such diets, blood sugar levels of 80% of the patients can be controlled. The remaining are given insulin injections.
Experts have said that 80-90% of patients with gestational diabetes can control their conditions with diet and exercise.
According to the International Diabetes Federation in Western Pacific, the prevalence of diabetes in adults (aged 20-79) in Vietnam last year was 5.6%, an increase from 2.9% in 2010.
Last year, the number of adult mortalities due to diabetes was 53,457. The cost for each patient with diabetes was US$163.
Vietnam’s rate of diabetes in adults aged 20-32 is higher than global rates and countries in the Western Pacific region.
At Hung Vuong Hospital, a 28-year-old pregnant woman from Can Tho said she was diagnosed last month with gestational diabetes.
When she was 28 weeks pregnant, she was asked to be screened at the Can Tho Obstetrics Hospital. The test showed that her blood sugar level was higher than normal.
“I then came to Hung Vuong Obstetrics Hospital for treatment. Now the sugar level in blood is controlled. Doctors gave me guidance about my diet to prevent the level from increasing,” she said.