PHARMACY

Pregnancy weight gain may increase a woman’s risk of gestational diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Women who gain excessive weight during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, may increase their risk of developing diabetes later in their pregnancy, according to a study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research that appears online in the current issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The three-year study of 1,145 pregnant women from an ethnically diverse population found that women who gained more weight than is recommended by the Institute of Medicine had a 50% increased risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus, also known as GDM. The association between pregnancy weight gain and gestational diabetes risk was more pronounced among overweight and nonwhite women. The study included 345 pregnant women with gestational diabetes and 800 pregnant women without gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is defined as glucose intolerance that typically occurs during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. It causes complications in as much as 7% of pregnancies in the United States. It can lead to early delivery, C-sections and Type 2 diabetes, and can increase the child’s risk of developing diabetes and obesity later in life.

“Healthcare providers should talk to their patients early in their pregnancy about the appropriate gestational weight gain, especially during the first trimester, and help women monitor their weight gain. Our research shows that weight gain in early pregnancy is a modifiable risk factor for gestational diabetes,” said the study’s lead author Monique Hedderson, PhD, a scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. “Randomized studies are needed to determine the feasibility of this early intervention and the best methods to help women meet the IOM recommendations.”

The study is among the first to support a direct link between pregnancy weight gain and gestational diabetes risk. Previous research has shown that weight gain before pregnancy and being overweight or obese at the start of pregnancy are risk factors for gestational diabetes.

This study was funded by the American Diabetes Association and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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FDA approves Menveo

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Novartis has received Food and Drug Administration approval for a vaccine for meningococcal disease, the Swiss drug maker’s vaccines division announced Monday.

The FDA approved Menveo (meningococcal [groups A, C, Y and W-135] oligosaccharide diphtheria CRM197) to prevent meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria.

 

The disease infects more than 500,000 people each year, killing as many as 1-in-7 who contract it; it is often fatal within 48 hours. About one-in-five who survive have serious side effects, including limb amputations, learning disabilities, seizures and paralysis.

 

 

“The FDA approval of Menveo is an important milestone for adolescent immunization in the United States,” Novartis vaccines division head Andrin Oswald said in a statement. “According to CDC estimates, approximately 16 million adolescents between the ages of 11 and 18 are at risk and remain unprotected against meningococcal disease.”

 

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Watson CEO to serve as GPhA chairman

BY Alaric DeArment

NAPLES, Fla. Watson Pharmaceuticals president and CEO Paul Bisaro will serve as the Generic Pharmaceutical Association’s chairman for 2010-2011, GPhA announced.

Bisaro has led Watson since 2007, after a stint as president and CEO of Barr Labs that began in 1999. He has served on GPhA’s board of directors since 2008, most recently as vice chairman.

“Paul will provide us with a steady hand as GPhA next navigates the often turbulent issues of health reform and the nation’s economic recovery,” GPhA president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger said. “GPhA looks forward to working with him, our board of directors and executive committee in what will be a challenging year.”

The organization also elected Mylan Pharmaceutical president Tony Mauro as vice chairman, New Chemic senior consultant Rosendo Ferran as secretary-treasurer. Nycomed U.S. CEO Paul McGarty, Teva North America president and CEO William Marth, Sandoz president and CEO Christine Mundkur and Zydus Pharmaceuticals president and CEO Joe Renner will serve as at-large members on the board’s executive committee.

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