A Need for Universal Screening for Gestational Diabetes – University of Copenhagen

Forward this page to a friend Resize Print Bookmark and Share

Global Health > News > 2016 > A Need for Universal S...

30 March 2016

A Need for Universal Screening for Gestational Diabetes

Two UCPH affiliated researchers, Karoline Kragelund Nielsen and Ib Bygbjerg, have published an article investigating the role of potential risk factors for hyperglycaemic in pregnancy in Tamil Nadu, India. Find an abstract below and the entire article at PLOS one.


Hyperglycaemia in pregnancy (HIP), i.e. gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and diabetes in pregnancy (DIP), increases the risk of various short- and long-term adverse outcomes. However, much remains to be understood about the role of different risk factors in development of HIP.


The aims of this observational study were to examine the role of potential risk factors for HIP, and to investigate whether any single or accumulated risk factor(s) could be used to predict HIP among women attending GDM screening at three centres in urban, semi-urban and rural Tamil Nadu, India.


Pregnant women underwent a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test. Data on potential risk factors was collected and analysed using logistical regression analysis. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, sensitivity, specificity and predictive values were calculated for significant risk factors and a risk factor scoring variable was constructed.


HIP was prevalent in 18.9% of the study population (16.3% GDM; 2.6% DIP). Increasing age and BMI as well as having a mother only or both parents with diabetes were significant independent risk factors for HIP. Among women attending the rural health centre a doubling of income corresponded to an 80% increased risk of HIP (OR 1.80, 95%CI 1.10–2.93; p = 0.019), whereas it was not significantly associated with HIP among women attending the other health centres. The performance of the individual risk factors and the constructed scoring variable differed substantially between the three health centres, but none of them were good enough to discriminate between those with and without HIP.


The findings highlight the importance of socio-economic circumstances and intergenerational risk transmission in the occurrence of HIP as well as the need for universal screening.