Risk factors for type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes: a population-based cohort study. 2017.

Bloomgarden Z. Troubling ethical questions from gestational diabetes trial. Journal of Diabetes. 2010; 1-4

Edwell J, Jack J. Gestational diabetes testing, narrative, and medical distrust. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. 2017; 14:53-63

Farrar D, Sheldon TA. Re: Gestational diabetes and the risk of late stillbirth: a case–control study from England, UK. BJOG.. 2019; 126:(9)

Landon MB, Spong CY, Thom E, Carpenter MW, Ramin SM, Casey B, Wapner RJ, Varner MW, Rouse DJ, Thorp JM, Sciscione A, Catalano P, Harper M, Saade G, Lain KY, Sorokin Y, Peaceman AM, Tolosa JE, Anderson GB. A multicenter, randomized trial of treatment for mild gestational diabetes. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2009; 361:1339-13348

Landon MB, Spong CY, Thom E. The authors reply. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2010; 362:(4)366-367

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Diabetes in pregnancy: management from preconception to the postnatal period. 2015. (accessed 16 February 2020)

Stacey T, Tennant PWG, McCowan LME, Mitchell EA, Budd J, Li M, Thompson JMD, Martin B, Roberts D, Heazell AEP. Gestational diabetes and the risk of late stillbirth: a case–control study from England, UK. BJOG.. 2019; 126:973-982

Sukumar N, Venkataraman H, Wilson S, Goljan I, Selvamoni S, Patel V, Saravanan P. Vitamin B12 status among pregnant women in the UK and its association with obesity and gestational diabetes. Nutrients. 2016; 8

Gestational diabetes and ethics

02 April 2020
3 min read
Volume 28 · Issue 4


With cases of gestational diabetes on the rise due to the increase in obesity rates, George F Winter reveals the importance of screening and diagnosis

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) around 700 000 women give birth in England and Wales annually; up to 5% of these women have either pre-existing diabetes or gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM); and the incidence of GDM is rising because of higher obesity rates in the general population and more pregnancies in older women (NICE, 2015).

In a UK study, Barker et al (2017) identified 3 033 women with GDM, reporting that the strongest risk factor for GDM was obesity, and that other significant risk factors included Asian ethnicity, previous GDM and pharmacological treatment for GDM; Sukumar et al (2016) conducted the first UK study to show that maternal blood vitamin B12 concentrations are associated with body mass index, risk of GDM and may have an independent effect on macrosomia; and Stacey et al (2019) reported that optimal screening and diagnosis of GDM mitigate ‘the higher risks of late stillbirth in women “at risk” of GDM and/or with raised fasting plasma glucose (FPG). Failure to diagnose GDM leaves women with raised FPG exposed to avoidable risk of late stillbirth.’

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content

  • Monthly email newsletter