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Trends in incidence of diabetes in pregnancy and serious perinatal outcomes: a large, population-based study in Ontario, Canada, 1996-2010


Objective — Women with diabetes in pregnancy have high rates of pregnancy complications. Our aims were to explore trends in the incidence of diabetes in pregnancy and examine whether the risk of serious perinatal outcomes has changed.

Research Design and Methods — We performed a population-based cohort study of 1,109,605 women who delivered in Ontario, Canada, between 1 April 1996 and 31 March 2010. We categorized women as gestational diabetes (GDM) (n=45,384), pregestational diabetes (pre-GDM) (n=13,278), or no diabetes (n=1,050,943). The annual age-adjusted rates of diabetes in pregnancy were calculated, and rates of serious perinatal outcomes were compared between groups and by year using Poisson regression.

Results — The age-adjusted rate of both GDM (2.7–5.6%, P < 0.001) and pre-GDM (0.7–1.5%, P < 0.001) doubled from 1996 to 2010. The rate of congenital anomalies declined by 23%, whereas the rate of perinatal mortality did not change significantly. However, compared with women with no diabetes, women with pre-GDM and GDM faced an increased risk of congenital anomalies (relative risk 1.86 [95% CI 1.49–2.33] and 1.26 [1.09–1.45], respectively), and perinatal mortality remained elevated in women with pre-GDM (2.33 [1.59–3.43]).

Conclusions — The incidence of both GDM and pre-GDM in pregnancy has doubled over the last 14 years, and the overall burden of diabetes in pregnancy on society is growing. Although congenital anomaly rates have declined in women with diabetes, perinatal mortality rates remain unchanged, and the risk of both remains significantly elevated compared with nondiabetic women. Increased efforts are needed to reduce these adverse outcomes.



Feig DS, Hwee J, Shah BR, Booth GL, Bierman AS, Lipscombe L. Diabetes Care. 2014; 37(6):1590-6.

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