Washington D.C.—U.S. Representatives Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26) and Eliot L. Engel (NY-16) have reintroduced the Gestational Diabetes (GEDI) Act, legislation focused on reducing the incidence of gestational and type 2 diabetes in women and children.
Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women who have never had diabetes, but have high blood glucose (sugar) levels during their pregnancies and cannot make and use the insulin they need to process their elevated levels of glucose. Gestational diabetes can have long-term health consequences for affected babies, including the development of type 2 diabetes and preterm respiratory distress syndrome.
“As an OG/BYN in practice for nearly three decades, I saw many women suffer from gestational diabetes and later develop Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Burgess. "This issue is too important for Congress to ignore. For nearly a decade, I have introduced this bipartisan legislation alongside Congressman Engel to increase preventative measures aimed at slowing the incidence of gestational diabetes. The fight against diabetes is a bipartisan priority, and this legislation, which previously passed the House on a bipartisan basis, should garner widespread support.”
“As many as 9.2% of all pregnancies in the U.S. are affected by gestational diabetes,” Rep. Engel said. “We have to do a better job of understanding this disease and, in turn, treating it. That’s what our legislation is designed to do. Allocating more resources to gestational diabetes research and prevention will help improve health outcomes for moms and babies. As a longtime member of the House Diabetes Caucus, I’m proud to once again introduce this important bill.”
The Gestational Diabetes Act seeks to enhance awareness of gestational diabetes and improve outcomes for both mothers and their babies by:
- Developing a multi-site gestational diabetes research project with the CDC to enhance surveillance and public health research on gestational diabetes;
- Providing grants to reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes; and
- Expanding research focused on investigating gestational diabetes and available treatments and therapies.
“The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is pleased to support the Gestational Diabetes Act,” said Ted Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., President, ACOG. “Two to 10 percent of pregnancies in this country are affected by gestational diabetes. When it is not diagnosed and managed, it can cause a number of serious problems for moms and babies, including higher than normal birth weight, high maternal blood pressure and preeclampsia. It also increases a woman’s risk of developing diabetes later in life. ACOG applauds Representative Engel and Dr. Burgess for their leadership and working to advance gestational diabetes research, reporting and treatment that will ultimately improve the health and lives of millions of women.”
“On behalf of the 114 million Americans with diabetes or prediabetes, the American Diabetes Association is grateful for Congressmen Engel and Burgess’ leadership in introducing the Gestational Diabetes Act. Gestational diabetes impacts more than nine percent of pregnancies in the Unites States, and yet we are not doing enough to address this issue. By harnessing CDC's expertise in research and translational science, we can better work towards reducing the number of women with gestational diabetes and the number of women and children who develop type 2 diabetes later in life, creating a healthier future,” said LaShawn McIver, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs & Advocacy, American Diabetes Association.