Diabetes in pregnancy in Pakistani women: prevalence and complications in an indigenous south Asian community

Document Type



Diabetes/Endocrinology and Metabolism


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and complications as well as to correlate maternal and fetal outcome with glycaemic control, in a community of Pakistani women. This was a retrospective study of 6830 deliveries over a 5-year period in a tertiary care hospital in Karachi. Either a 75 g glucose tolerance test or a screening 50 g glucose challenge was administered depending on risk factors for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). Case records of deliveries during this period were analysed for presence of GDM or pre-existing diabetes; glycaemic control and complications were ascertained for those with diabetes. During this period 267 (3.9%) of the 6380 deliveries were identified as diabetic pregnancies. Of these 223 (3.3%) had GDM and 44 (0.6%) women had pre-existing diabetes mellitus. Overall maternal complications were high; pre-eclampsia (19%), polyhydramnios (4.6%), and threatened abortion (3.4%). Fetal complications of macrosomia (13.1%), intrauterine growth retardation (7.1%), intrauterine deaths (5.3%) were noted. Complications were higher in poorly controlled groups. We conclude that the prevalence of GDM in Pakistani women in our study was comparable to their Western counterparts but complication rates were higher, possibly due to poorer glycaemic control.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Diabetic Medicine