Seasonal Changes in the Prevalence of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
OBJECTIVE To determine the effect of different seasons on the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) by using World Health Organization criteria. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS The results of all pregnancy glucose tolerance tests (GTTs) were prospectively collected over a 3-year period in a temperate climate, and the results were grouped by season. RESULTS The results of 7,369 pregnancy GTTs were available for consideration. In winter, the median 1-h and 2-h glucose results after GTT were significantly (P < 0.0001) lower than the overall 1-h and 2-h results. The prevalence ofGDMat the 1-h diagnostic level was 29% higher in summer and 27% lower in winter than the overall prevalence (P = 0.02). The prevalence of GDM at the 2-h diagnostic level was 28% higher in summer and 31% lower in winter than the overall prevalence (P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS The prevalence of GDM varies according to seasons, which leads to the possible overdiagnosis of GDM in summer and/or underdiagnosis in winter. Further research into standardization of the GTT or seasonal adjustment of the resultsmay need to be considered.