Objective: To determine the effect of different seasons on the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) by using World Health Organization criteria.
Research design and methods: The results of all pregnancy glucose tolerance tests (GTTs) were prospectively collected over a 3-year period in a temperate climate, and the results were grouped by season.
Results: The results of 7,369 pregnancy GTTs were available for consideration. In winter, the median 1-h and 2-h glucose results after GTT were significantly (P < 0.0001) lower than the overall 1-h and 2-h results. The prevalence of GDM at the 1-h diagnostic level was 29% higher in summer and 27% lower in winter than the overall prevalence (P = 0.02). The prevalence of GDM at the 2-h diagnostic level was 28% higher in summer and 31% lower in winter than the overall prevalence (P = 0.01).
Conclusions: The prevalence of GDM varies according to seasons, which leads to the possible overdiagnosis of GDM in summer and/or underdiagnosis in winter. Further research into standardization of the GTT or seasonal adjustment of the results may need to be considered.
© 2016 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.