Published online Oct 15, 2021. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v12.i10.1778
Peer-review started: May 31, 2021
First decision: June 24, 2021
Revised: July 5, 2021
Accepted: August 30, 2021
Article in press: August 30, 2021
Published online: October 15, 2021
Women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at a seven-fold higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) within 7-10 years after childbirth, compared with those with normoglycemic pregnancy. Although raised fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels has been said to be the main significant predictor of postpartum progression to T2D, it is difficult to predict who among the women with GDM would develop T2D. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional retrospective study to examine the glycemic indices that can predict postnatal T2D in Emirati Arab women with a history of GDM.
To assess how oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) can identify the distinct GDM pathophysiology and predict possible distinct postnatal T2D subtypes.
The glycemic status of a cohort of 4603 pregnant Emirati Arab women, who delivered in 2007 at both Latifa Women and Children Hospital and at Dubai Hospital, United Arab Emirates, was assessed retrospectively, using the International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) criteria. Of the total, 1231 women were followed up and assessed in 2016. The FBG and/or the 2-h blood glucose (2hrBG) levels after a 75-g glucose load were measured to assess the prevalence of GDM and T2D, according to the IADPSG and American Diabetes Association (ADA) criteria, respectively. The receiver operating characteristic curve for the OGTT was plotted and sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of FBG and 2hrBG for T2D were determined.
Considering both FBG and 2hrBG levels, according to the IADPSG criteria, the prevalence of GDM in pregnant Emirati women in 2007 was 1057/4603 (23%), while the prevalence of pre-pregnancy T2D among them, based on ADA criteria, was 230/4603 (5%). In the subset of women (n = 1231) followed up in 2016, the prevalence of GDM in 2007 was 362/1231 (29.6%), while the prevalence of pre-pregnancy T2D was 36/1231 (2.9%). Of the 362 pregnant women with GDM in 2007, 96/362 (26.5%) developed T2D; 142/362 (39.2%) developed impaired fasting glucose; 29/362 (8.0%) developed impaired glucose tolerance, and the remaining 95/362 (26.2%) had normal glycemia in 2016. The prevalence of T2D, based on ADA criteria, stemmed from the prevalence of 36/1231 (2.9%) in 2007 to 141/1231 (11.5%), in 2016. The positive predictive value (PPV) for FBG suggests that if a woman tested positive for GDM in 2007, the probability of developing T2D in 2016 was approximately 24%. The opposite was observed when 2hrBG was used for diagnosis. The PPV value for 2hrBG suggests that if a woman was positive for GDM in 2007 then the probability of developing T2D in 2016 was only 3%.
FBG and 2hrBG could predict postpartum T2D, following antenatal GDM. However, each test reflects different pathophysiology and possible T2D subtype and could be matched with a relevant T2D prevention program.
Core Tip: The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) remains the gold standard for assessing the risk of postnatal diabetes in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Both the fasting blood glucose and 2-h blood glucose tests could predict postpartum abnormal glycemic status following antenatal GDM. However, each test reflects a different pathophysiology and possible subtype of type 2 diabetes (T2D). If fasting serum insulin measurements are added to an OGTT, additional data generated could distinguish T2D pathophysiology and possible subtypes. Information obtained could be used to match the T2D subtype with relevant prevention programs such as frequent follow-ups, lifestyle modifications, and new treatment protocols.