No Link Between Gestational Diabetes and Common Mental Disorders Before and During Pregnancy

Sarfaroj Khan


August 11, 2020


  • This study found no association between common mental disorders (CMD) of anxiety and depression before pregnancy (preconception CMD) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and between GDM and CMD during pregnancy (antenatal CMD).

Why this matters

  • The lack of evidence for an association between CMD before and during pregnancy and GDM should provide some reassurance to women with GDM and/or CMD.

Study design

  • An analysis of 12,239 women with 13,539 pregnancies from the UK's Born in Bradford cohort.

  • GDM was diagnosed by oral glucose tolerance test according to the modified World Health Organisation criteria (fasting glucose, ≥6.1 mmoL/L or 2-hour post-load glucose, ≥7.8 mmoL/L).

  • Data on indicators of CMD were obtained from linked primary care records.

  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • Preconception CMD was not associated with GDM (adjusted risk ratio, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.80-1.15; P=.658).

  • No association was seen between GDM and antenatal CMD (adjusted OR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.73-1.12; P=.368).

  • Sensitivity analyses using fasting glucose as a continuous variable produced no evidence of an association with preconception CMD (adjusted beta, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.98-1.04) and antenatal CMD (adjusted OR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.88-1.12).


  • Underdiagnosis of anxiety and depression in primary care.

  • Multi-ethnic composition of the cohort may limit the generalisability of these findings to other populations.

Wilson CA, Santorelli G, Dickerson J, Ismail K, Reynolds RM, Simonoff E, Howard LM. Is there an association between anxiety and depression prior to and during pregnancy and gestational diabetes? An analysis of the Born in Bradford cohort. J Affect Disord. 2020;276:345-350. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.07.019. PMID: 32741755 Full text.

This clinical summary originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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