Gestational diabetes and preeclampsia--similar risk factor profiles?

Early Hum Dev. 2012 Mar;88(3):179-84. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2011.08.004. Epub 2011 Sep 3.


Background: Gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are leading causes of complications during pregnancy.

Aims: The aims of this study were to quantify the probability that both diseases occur together, to evaluate commonality of risk factor profiles, and to clarify the connection between gestational diabetes and preeclampsia in combination with the maternal body mass index.

Study design: We analysed data of the German Perinatal Quality Registry 2006, an annual full inventory of all hospital births in Germany.

Subjects: The Registry contains the complete national birth cohort of 668,085 newborn infants and 647,392 mothers from 896 German obstetric clinics.

Outcome measures: Each case of gestational diabetes or preeclampsia that was identified during pregnancy by a gynaecologist or in the hospital was fully registered.

Results: The prevalence of GDM was 2.32% and that of PE was 2.31%, resulting in 0.09% of all pregnant women being diagnosed with both diseases. GDM was found to be an independent risk factor for PE. Increased maternal age, nulliparity, and multiple gestation pregnancies could be identified as common risk factors for both diseases, while increased pre-pregnancy body mass index was found to be the most important predictor for both diseases.

Conclusions: As PE and GDM share similar risk factors, identification of high-risk groups by simultaneous screening methods seems to be reasonable for prevention of complications. Further studies will be needed to investigate possible pathophysiological pathways increased body mass index has on the induction of both diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Probability
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors