Adverse Foetal Outcomes in Gestational Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Chukwuemeka, Scholarstica Chinwe
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Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition that affects pregnant women and is one of the most common complications related to pregnancy. According to the World health organisation (WHO), the usual window for diagnosing GDM is between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation and the primary aim of diagnosing gestational diabetes is to identify women and infants at risk of short- or longer-term adverse outcomes. Recent results from the hyperglycaemia and adverse pregnancy outcome (HAPO) study have suggested that even mild levels of hyperglycaemia can have adverse effects on foetal outcomes but there are uncertainties about the prevalence of these outcomes in GDM diagnosed according to the latest WHO 2013 guideline and/or IADPSG 2010 criteria in diverse populations. GDM prevalence has been studied by different researchers, but the prevalence of adverse foetal outcomes in GDM diagnosed based on the latest WHO 2013 guideline and/or IADPSG 2010 criteria have not yet been explored except for the data published by the HAPO study. Due to the lack of sufficient knowledge on foetal outcomes in GDM, this study was conducted to review the evidence on the prevalence of adverse foetal outcomes in GDM diagnosed according to WHO 2013 guideline and/or the IADPSG 2010 criteria. Different databases including PubMed, Science Direct, Google Scholar and CINAHL as well as bibliographic citations were searched using a well-formulated search strategy to find the relevant observational studies (prospective/retrospective cohort and case-control) using explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria. The following search terms were used, “gestational diabetes”, “pregnancy”, “adverse fetal outcomes” and “adverse foetal outcomes”. The findings of this study were reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and the obtained data analysed using MetaXL ® version 5.3. This review was registered online on PROSPERO, the International prospective register of systematic reviews (registration number: CRD42020155061). Fifteen studies with 88,831 pregnant women (range: 83-25,543 participants) from 12 countries around the world were identified, with a wide variation in the prevalence of foetal outcomes in GDM using the stipulated criteria. These studies were unevenly distributed geographically as six of them were conducted in Asia, four in Europe, four in North America, one in Australia and none in Africa, Antarctica and South America. A meta-analysis found that the overall prevalence of foetal outcomes ranged from 1% (perinatal mortality) to 11% ( large for gestational age). The finding is limited due to the paucity of data on the prevalence of foetal outcomes in GDM. However, more studies using these criteria in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs) are needed by health care providers, to inform practice and allocate resources for control of GDM and its adverse foetal outcomes in diverse settings and ethnic groups, especially in LMICs.