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Women's health and midwifery
Adequate maternal pre-conceptional folate status may reduce the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus
  1. Karen Best1,2,
  2. Tim J Green1,2
  1. 1 Women and Kids Theme, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  2. 2 School of Medicine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Karen Best, Women and Kids, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia;{at}

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Commentary on: Li M, Li S, Chavarro JE, et al. Prepregnancy habitual intakes of total, supplemental, and food folate and risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: a prospective cohort study. Diabetes Care 2019;42:1034–41.

Implications for practice and research

  • Recent data show that gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) prevalence has increased during the past 20 years.1 Pre-pregnancy supplementation with folic acid may be a simple, low-cost strategy to reduce maternal and infant morbidities associated with GDM.

  • Further studies are needed to identify the optimal dose of pre-pregnancy folic acid to reduce the incidence of GDM and to investigate long-term effects in offspring.


Rates of GDM are rising worldwide and associated with adverse perinatal outcomes and long-term cardiometabolic risk in mothers and their offspring.1 This large prospective cohort study investigates the association between pre-pregnancy habitual folate intake and the risk GDM.2


The purpose of this study was to …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.