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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Borderline gestational diabetes mellitus and pregnancy outcomes

Hong Ju1, Alice R Rumbold2, Kristyn J Willson3 and Caroline A Crowther1*

Author Affiliations

1 Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Adelaide, Women's and Children's Hospital, King William Road, North Adelaide, South Australia, 5006, Australia

2 Menzies School of Health Research & Institute of Advanced Studies, Charles Darwin University, PO BOX 41096, Casuarina, Northern Territory, 0811, Australia

3 Discipline of Public Health, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, 5005, Australia

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, 8:31  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-8-31

Published: 30 July 2008

Abstract

Background

The impact of borderline gestational diabetes mellitus (BGDM), defined as a positive oral glucose challenge test (OGCT) and normal oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), on maternal and infant health is unclear. We assessed maternal and infant health outcomes in women with BGDM and compared these to women who had a normal OGCT screen for gestational diabetes.

Methods

We compared demographic, obstetric and neonatal outcomes between women participating in the Australian Collaborative Trial of Supplements with antioxidants Vitamin C and Vitamin E to pregnant women for the prevention of pre-eclampsia (ACTS) who had BGDM and who screened negative on OGCT.

Results

Women who had BGDM were older (mean difference 1.3 years, [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.3, 2.2], p = 0.01) and more likely to be obese (27.1% vs 14.1%, relative risk (RR) 1.92, [95% CI 1.41, 2.62], p < 0.0001) than women who screened negative on OGCT. The risk of adverse maternal outcome overall was higher (12.9% vs 8.1%, RR 1.59, [95% CI 1.00, 2.52], p = 0.05) in women with BGDM compared with women with a normal OGCT. Women with BGDM were more likely to develop pregnancy induced hypertension (17.9% vs 11.8%, RR 1.51, [95% CI 1.03, 2.20], p = 0.03), have a caesarean for fetal distress (17.1% vs 10.5%, RR 1.63, [95% CI 1.10, 2.41], p = 0.01), and require a longer postnatal hospital stay (mean difference 0.4 day, [95% CI 0.1, 0.7], p = 0.01) than those with a normal glucose tolerance.

Infants born to BGDM mothers were more likely to be born preterm (10.7% vs 6.4%, RR 1.68, [95% CI 1.00, 2.80], p = 0.05), have macrosomia (birthweight ≥4.5 kg) (4.3% vs 1.7%, RR 2.53, [95% CI 1.06, 6.03], p = 0.04), be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) (6.5% vs 3.0%, RR 2.18, [95% CI 1.09, 4.36], p = 0.03) or the neonatal nursery (40.3% vs 28.4%, RR 1.42, [95% CI 1.14, 1.76], p = 0.002), and have a longer hospital stay (p = 0.001). More infants in the BGDM group had Sarnat stage 2 or 3 neonatal encephalopathy (12.9% vs 7.8%, RR 1.65, [95% CI 1.04, 2.63], p = 0.03).

Conclusion

Women with BGDM and their infants had an increased risk of adverse health outcomes compared with women with a negative OGCT. Intervention strategies to reduce the risks for these women and their infants need evaluation.

Trial registration

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN00416244