Continuing Medical Education

Prevalence of and risk factors for gestational diabetes mellitus in South Africa

S Dias, S Adam, P Rheeder, C Pheiffer

Abstract


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with adverse maternal, fetal and perinatal complications. Without appropriate glucose management, women with GDM and their offspring have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other metabolic conditions later in life, thereby adding to the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This review provides an update of GDM in South Africa (SA), showing that its prevalence is increasing, and highlights treatment and management strategies currently employed. Although the increase in GDM prevalence may partly be due to less stringent diagnostic criteria, the role of the increasing obesogenic environment in SA is an additional factor. Future research should focus on reducing the rising obesity epidemic and in so doing aim to prevent the development of GDM in SA. Such initiatives will have a positive impact on decreasing maternal and child morbidity and mortality and the future burden of NCDs.


Authors' affiliations

S Dias, Biomedical Research and Innovation Platform (BRIP), South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town; and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

S Adam, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

P Rheeder, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

C Pheiffer, Biomedical Research and Innovation Platform (BRIP), South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town; and Division of Medical Physiology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Prevalence; Risk factors; Gestational diabetes mellitus; South Africa; Pregnancy

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2019;109(7):463-467. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i7.14127

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-06-28
Date published: 2019-06-28

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