THURSDAY, June 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Gestational diabetes mellitus is significantly associated with pregnancy complications when adjusting for confounding variables, according to research published online May 25 in The BMJ.

Wenrui Ye, from Central South University in Changsha, China, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to examine the association between gestational diabetes mellitus and adverse outcomes of pregnancy.

Based on 156 studies with more than 7.5 million pregnancies, the researchers found that in studies with no insulin use, when adjusting for confounders, women with gestational diabetes mellitus had increased odds of caesarean section (odds ratio [OR], 1.16), preterm delivery (OR, 1.51), low one-minute Apgar score (OR, 1.43), macrosomia (OR, 1.70), and infant born large for gestational age (OR, 1.57). For women with gestational diabetes mellitus in studies with insulin use, the adjusted risk was higher for having an infant large for gestational age (OR, 1.61), an infant with respiratory distress syndrome (OR, 1.57), an infant with neonatal jaundice (OR, 1.28), or an infant requiring admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (OR, 2.29) versus women without diabetes.

“The findings of this meta-analysis support the need for an improved understanding of the pathophysiology of gestational diabetes mellitus to inform the prediction of risk and for precautions to be taken to reduce adverse outcomes of pregnancy,” the authors write.

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