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Diabetes Care. 1993 Sep;16(9):1231-5.

Diabetes in pregnancy in Zuni Indian women. Prevalence and subsequent development of clinical diabetes after gestational diabetes.

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Zuni Diabetes Program, Public Health Service Indian Hospital, New Mexico 87327.



To determine the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus in Zuni Indian women and the subsequent rate of diabetes among Zuni women with GDM.


A retrospective analysis of 809 deliveries over a 4-yr period among Zuni Indian women was conducted to determine the prevalence of GDM and diabetes antedating pregnancy. A prospective case-control study of 47 full-blooded Zuni Indian women with GDM and 47 control subjects was performed to determine the progression to clinical diabetes in women with a first-time diagnosis of GDM. Cases with GDM delivered during a defined 8-yr period. The control group of Zuni women delivered during the same time period but had plasma glucose values < 7.8 mM on the 1-h glucose screening test. Cases with GDM and control subjects were matched for age, body mass index, gravidity, and length of follow-up. All women were re-evaluated for diabetes up to 9 yr after the index pregnancy.


Between 1987-1990, 116 cases of GDM and 8 cases of pre-existing diabetes were identified, giving a prevalence of maternal diabetes in pregnancy of 15.3%. At the time of follow-up, 14 of 47 (30%) women with GDM had developed diabetes after a mean of 4.8 yr compared with only 3 of 47 (6%) from the control group with an average of 5.5 yr follow-up.


GDM is prevalent among Zuni Indians and is associated with an increased risk of diabetes. Glucose tolerance after GDM may deteriorate at a greater rate in Native Americans than in other populations.

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