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

J Assoc Physicians India. 2008 May: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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Developing Countries*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • India
  • Life Style
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*