Panel supports maintaining the current diagnostic approach for gestational diabetes mellitus

NIH News: March 6, 2013

An independent panel convened this week by the National Institutes of Health has concluded that despite potential advantages of adopting a new diagnostic approach for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), more evidence is needed to ensure that the benefits outweigh the harms. The panel recommended following the current diagnostic approach until further studies are conducted.

“The panel believes that cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness, and cost-utility research is needed to more fully understand the implications of changing diagnostic protocols for GDM,” said Dr. Peter VanDorsten, conference panel chairperson and Lawrence L. Hester, Jr. Professor, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

GDM is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. GDM is currently estimated to occur in 5-6 percent of U.S. pregnancies, affecting more than 240,000 births annually. GDM is associated with an increased risk of complications for both the mother and child, including maternal high blood pressure, cesarean delivery, and neonatal low blood sugar. In addition, up to half of women who have experienced GDM will develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Read more