Survey by the European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology on screening for gestational diabetes in Europe

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2016 Jun;201:197-202. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2016.04.003. Epub 2016 Apr 11.


Objectives: More uniformity is necessary in screening and diagnosis for gestational diabetes (GDM) across Europe. The European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (EBCOG) has recently recommended to use the 2013 World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for the diagnosis of GDM. We evaluated the uptake of these EBCOG recommendations in guidelines for GDM screening across Europe.

Methods: Between September and November 2015, an online survey on the current national or regional recommendations for GDM screening was directed to the 33 European countries that are members of EBCOG.

Results: There was a response rate of 84.8% (28 countries). From Belgium, data were separately obtained from the Dutch-and the French-speaking parts and from the UK data were also obtained from Scotland, leading to data from 30 responders. The response rates were high in Central Europe (100%), Northern Europe (100%) and Southern Europe (85.7%) with lower response rates in Eastern Europe (71.4%). 82.1% of guidelines recommend screening for unknown diabetes at first prenatal visit and 67.9% recommend to screen for GDM before 24 weeks of pregnancy. All guidelines recommend to screen for GDM ≥24 weeks, based on risk factors in 64.3% and by universal screening in 35.7%. The most commonly used diagnostic criteria for GDM are the 2013 WHO criteria in 67.9%, the 1999 WHO criteria in 10.7%, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes criteria in 7.1% and the Carpenter & Coustan criteria in 7.1%. Of all societies advising the use of the 2013 WHO criteria, 52.6% recommends this based on risk factors, 10.5% recommends universal screening in a two-step strategy and 36.8% recommends a universal one-step approach with a 75g OGTT.

Conclusions: Our survey shows that the majority of European societies now advise to use the 2013 WHO criteria for GDM. However, only 36.8% recommends a universal one-step approach with a 75g OGTT with the majority of societies recommending screening based on risk factors. The use of common diagnostic criteria for GDM by the majority of societies is an important first step towards achieving uniformity in GDM screening across Europe.

Keywords: Criteria; Europe; Gestational diabetes; Screening; Survey.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes, Gestational / diagnosis*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Gynecology
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening*
  • Obstetrics
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • World Health Organization