OBJECTIVEdThe optimal screening regimen for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)
remains controversial. Risk factors used in selective screening guidelines vary. Given that universal
screening is not currently adopted in our European population, we aimed to evaluate
which selective screening strategies were most applicable.
RESEARCH DESIGN ANDMETHODSdBetween 2007 and 2009, 5,500 women were
universally screened for GDM, and a GDM prevalence of 12.4% using International Association
of Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) criteria was established. We retrospectively
applied selective screening guidelines to this cohort.
RESULTSdWhen we applied National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE),
Irish, and American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines, 54%(2,576), 58%(2,801), and 76%
(3,656) of women, respectively, had at least one risk factor for GDM and would have undergone
testing. However, when NICE, Irish, and ADA guidelines were applied, 20% (120), 16% (101),
and 5% (31) of women, respectively, had no risk factor and would have gone undiagnosed.
Using a BMI $30 kg/m2 for screening has a specificity of 81% with moderate sensitivity at 48%.
Reducing the BMI to$25 kg/m2 (ADA) increases the sensitivity to 80%with a specificity of 44%.
Women with no risk factors diagnosed with GDM on universal screening had more adverse
pregnancy outcomes than those with normal glucose tolerance.
CONCLUSIONSdThis analysis provides a strong argument for universal screening. However,
if selective screening were adopted, the ADA guidelines would result in the highest rate of
diagnosis and the lowest number of missed cases.