Prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus in South India (Tamil Nadu)—a community based study

V Seshiah, V Balaji, Madhuri S Balaji, A Paneerselvam, T Arthi, M Thamizharasi, Manjula Datta
Journal of the Association of Physicians of India 2008, 56: 329-33

AIM: Women diagnosed to have Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) are at increased risk of developing diabetes in future. Thus, diagnosis of GDM is an important public health issue. In a random survey 16.2% of pregnant women were found to have GDM in the Chennai urban population. Hence we undertook a planned community based study to ascertain the prevalence of GDM.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a prospective screening for GDM in the urban, semi urban and rural areas. All pregnant women irrespective of gestational weeks underwent a 75 g glucose challenge test in the fasting state. Diagnosis of GDM was made if the 2 hr plasma glucose was > or = 140 mg/dl (WHO criteria).

RESULTS: A total of 4151, 3960 and 3945 pregnant women were screened in urban, semi urban and rural areas, respectively. GDM was detected in 739 (17.8%) women in urban, 548 (13.8%) in semi urban and 392 (9.9%) in rural areas. Out of 1679 GDM women, 1204 (72%) were detected in first visit and the remaining 28% in subsequent visits. A significant increase (P < 0.0001) in the prevalence of GDM was observed with family history of diabetes, increased maternal age and BMI. A trend for increased prevalence of GDM was observed in women with less physical activity, however, not statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: In this community based study, the prevalence of GDM varied in the urban, semi urban and rural areas. Age > or = 25 years, BMI > or = 25 and family history of diabetes were found to be risk factors for GDM.

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