Incidence of adverse outcomes associated with gestational diabetes mellitus in low- and middle-income countries

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2013 Apr;121(1):14-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2012.10.032. Epub 2013 Jan 13.


Background: The contribution of medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus to maternal and neonatal ill-health in low- and middle-income countries is not well documented.

Objectives: To ascertain the incidence of adverse outcomes associated with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in these countries.

Search strategy: Electronic databases were searched between 1990 and 2011.

Selection criteria: Observational, experimental, and quasi-experimental studies reporting adverse outcomes associated with GDM in mothers and their infants in low- and middle-income countries were included.

Data collection and analysis: Titles and abstracts were screened, and full-text articles were independently assessed by at least 2 reviewers. Characteristics of studies were tabulated and quality assessment performed. Median and interquartile range (IQR) were computed for each adverse outcome.

Main results: 25 articles were included from an initial 1282 citations. High median incidences of cesarean (43.8%; IQR, 34.9%-65.9%), neonatal jaundice (17.1%; IQR, 8.5%-22.9%), and macrosomia (17.0%; IQR, 8.3%-32.5%) were reported in women with GDM.

Conclusions: The high incidence of some complications of GDM is a concern and may indicate poorer care for women with GDM in low-resource settings. The wide IQRs found indicate uncertainty about the burden of GDM in these settings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data
  • Developing Countries
  • Diabetes, Gestational / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Macrosomia / epidemiology
  • Fetal Macrosomia / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Jaundice, Neonatal / epidemiology
  • Jaundice, Neonatal / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*