Prevalence of gestational diabetes varies across seasons
(HealthDay)—The prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) varies across the seasons, with higher prevalence in the summer and lower prevalence in the winter, according to a study published online May 10 in Diabetes Care.
Robert G. Moses, M.D., from Wollongong Hospital in Australia, and colleagues examined the effect of different seasons on the prevalence of GDM. All pregnancy glucose tolerance tests (GTTs) were collected over a three-year period in a temperate climate; results were available for 7,369 pregnancy GTTs.
The researchers found that the median one- and two-hour glucose results after GTT were significantly lower in winter than the overall one- and two-hour results (P < 0.0001). Compared with the overall prevalence, the prevalence of GDM was 29 percent higher in summer and 27 percent lower in winter at the one-hour diagnostic level (P = 0.02). Compared with the overall prevalence, the prevalence of GDM was 28 percent higher in summer and 31 percent lower in winter at the two-hour diagnostic level (P = 0.01).
"The prevalence of GDM varies according to seasons, which leads to the possible overdiagnosis of GDM in summer and/or underdiagnosis in winter," the authors write. "Further research into standardization of the GTT or seasonal adjustment of the results may need to be considered."
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