The development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy, over the long term, increases the risk for the development of type 2 diabetes in the mother. It also increases the risk for obesity and glucose in the child. Those women with a history of GDM will have an increased risk of hyperglycemia during subsequent pregnancies and approximately 50% of women who develop GDM will develop type 2 diabetes mellitus within 20 years.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are at a higher risk of developing GDM and develop GDM at a rate of 1.5 times that of non-Aboriginal Australian women. A lack of local services, geographical isolation in more remote areas, cost and transport barriers and language or cultural barriers may all contribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women not accessing appropriate health care for the treatment of diabetes when needed.
These factors, combined with higher rates of overweight and obesity, more births per mother and a propensity towards developing diabetes, place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women at higher risk of GDM and their babies at greater risk of associated complications.
This brief module provides an overview of the guidelines for screening and treatment for GDM. The new guidelines are likely to increase the number of women diagnosed with GDM by 50%, having a significant impact on primary health care and interventions.
At the end of this module participants will be able to: