Italian risk factor-based screening for gestational diabetes

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2014 Sep;27(14):1445-8. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2013.860961. Epub 2013 Dec 2.


There is a debate about whether universal or risk factors-based screening is most appropriate for gestational diabetes diagnosis. The aim of our retrospective study was to compare in our population the universal screening test recommended by the International Association of Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group (IADPSG) panel and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) versus the selective screening proposed by the United Kingdom National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines (NICE) but modified by the Italian National Institute of Health. From May 2010 to October 2011 all consecutive pregnant women were screened for gestational diabetes according to the IADPSG's panel criteria, while all the risk factors for each patient were registered. Of the 1015 pregnant women included in the study, 113 (11%) were diagnosed with gestational diabetes and 26 (23%) of them would not have been identified by the selective screening proposed by the Italian National Institute of Health. However, all the risk factors considered by the selective screening revealed a good predictive role except for maternal age ≥ 35 years (OR: 0.98). In the group without the risk factors considered, it was reported the predictive role for gestational diabetes of prepregnancy BMI and nulliparity. The selective risk factors-based screening proposed by the Italian National Institute of Health has detected 77% of gestational diabetes cases in our population, sparing the oral glucose tolerance test for more than 40% of pregnant women at the same time. More information on the clinical impact of this choice could be obtained by a strict analysis of treatment, perinatal outcome and follow-up of an adequate sample size of "missed" gestational diabetes.

Keywords: Gestational diabetes mellitus; perinatal outcome; risk factor; selective screening; universal screening.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Mass Screening* / methods
  • Mass Screening* / standards
  • Maternal Age
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis* / methods
  • Prenatal Diagnosis* / standards
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult