What is the rate of birth anomalies in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)?

Updated: Apr 29, 2020
  • Author: Thomas R Moore, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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When the frequency of congenital anomalies in patients with normal or high first-trimester maternal glycohemoglobin values was compared to the frequency in healthy patients, the rate of anomalies was only 3.4% with glycosylated hemoglobin values (HbA1C) of less than 8.5%, versus 22.4% with poorer glycemic control in the periconceptional period (HbA1C >8.5%). An overall malformation rate of 13.3% was reported in 105 patients with diabetes, but the risk of delivering a malformed infant was comparable to a normal population when the HbA1C was less than 7%. [32] More recently, in a review of 7 cohort studies, researchers found that patients with a normal glycohemoglobin (0 SD above normal), the absolute risk of an anomaly was 2%. At 2 SD above normal, this risk was 3%, with an odds ratio of 1.2 (1.1- 1.4). As the glycohemoglobin increased so did the risk for malformation, in a direct relationship. [33]

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