Disparities in the risk of gestational diabetes by race-ethnicity and country of birth

Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2010 Sep;24(5):441-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3016.2010.01140.x.


Little information exists on the association between maternal country of birth and risk of gestational diabetes (GDM). We examined within each race-ethnicity group whether the risk of GDM differs between women born inside and outside the US. The study was a cohort study of 216 089 women who delivered an infant between 1995 and 2004 with plasma glucose data from the screening 50-g glucose challenge test and the diagnostic 100-g, 3-h oral glucose tolerance test. The age-adjusted prevalence of GDM varied by race-ethnicity and was lowest for non-Hispanic white (4.1%) and highest among Asian Indians (11.1%). In multivariable models, being born outside of the US was associated with an increased risk of GDM among black, Asian Indian, Filipina, Pacific Islanders, Chinese, Mexicans and non-Hispanic white women, whereas, Japanese and Korean foreign-born women had a decreased risk of GDM. Clinicians should be aware that among certain race-ethnicity groups women born outside the US may be at increased risk of GDM and may warrant special preventive and culturally sensitive care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes, Gestational / ethnology*
  • Ethnicity / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Racial Groups / ethnology*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult