Objective: We tested the effect of patient compliance, fasting plasma glucose on oral glucose tolerance test, maternal body constitution, and the method of treatment (diet versus insulin) on the perinatal outcome of patients with gestational diabetes mellitus.
Study design: A prospective population-based study compared the perinatal outcome of patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (n = 470) (diabetic with regard to the parameters specified above) and a contemporaneous control group (nondiabetic, n = 250).
Results: The diabetic and control groups were matched in demographic characteristics. Patient compliance reduced the rate of macrosomia (14.4%) and neonatal hypoglycemia (3.4%) but not to the levels of the control group (5.2% and 1.2% respectively, p < 0.05). The level of fasting plasma glucose on the oral glucose tolerance test had no effect on perinatal outcome. Intensified (insulin) treatment reduced the rate of macrosomia and large-for-gestational age infants in the subgroups with intermediate and high levels of fasting plasma glucose on the oral glucose tolerance test (9.5%/14.2% and 12.2%/24.2% respectively), again not to levels of the control group (5.2%/10.8%). Obese patients were found to have more perinatal complications than lean patients. Intensified (insulin) treatment has proved to be beneficial in terms of reducing the rate of perinatal complications in the obese patients, but not to the corresponding levels of the control group. Such treatment had no effect on the lean patients.
Conclusions: Strict control of maternal hyperglycemia and high patient compliance are imperative for an effective reduction of perinatal complication in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus. The desired plasma glucose level in the glycemic control of these patients should be further reduced, thus bringing the rate of perinatal complications to that of the normal population.