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Dan Med Bull. 1999 Feb;46(1):57-9.

Results from screening for gestational diabetes mellitus in a Danish county.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Obstetrics, Esbjerg County Hospital.



To examine the complications in gestational diabetes mellitus with special reference to the significance of the threshold for the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT, plasma glucose > or = 7.8 mmol/l (equivalent to blood glucose 6.9 mmol/l) (WHO criteria) or blood glucose > 6.7 mmol/l (local criteria) after 2 h 75 g oral glucose load).


Prospective descriptive study.


From April 1, 1995 to April 1, 1997 a screening for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) according to the recommendations from the Danish board of health was performed in Ribe county.


Pregnant women in Ribe county (n = 6158).


Complications during pregnancy and the outcome.


Two hundred and twenty (3.6%) women had GDM by the local selection criteria and 2.8% according to the WHO criteria. The study revealed a significantly increased frequency of malformations (7.3% vs. 1.2%, p < 0.0001) and preeclampsia (15.5% vs. 1%, p < 0.0001) in the group with GDM independent of selection criteria (obesity vs. family history and glucosuria). The frequency of preeclampsia appeared higher in the group with obesity (p = 0.040). Malformations appeared with identical frequency in the groups with OGGT threshold higher than blood glucose 6.9 mmol/l (plasma glucose 7.8 mmol/l) (WHO criteria) and with blood glucose between 6.7 and 6.9 mmol/l, whereas preeclampsia did not occur with higher frequency in the latter group.


Complications appear frequently in women with an abnormal OGGT, and obesity predisposes to preeclampsia. The use of the WHO criteria for screening for GDM would miss a number of women with complications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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