Health Indicator Report of Diabetes: gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as having abnormally high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. This abnormality usually disappears after pregnancy, although about 50% of women with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Mothers with gestational diabetes are more likely to have large babies (over 4,000 grams or roughly 9 pounds), a risk factor for non-elective cesarean section delivery and adverse birth outcomes. Infants born to women with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing diabetes and obesity themselves.
The prevalence of gestational diabetes in Utah has risen steadily over the last two decades, increasing from 2.1 percent in 2000 to 7.5 percent in 2021.
Percentage of Utah birth records indicating gestational diabetes Utah and U.S., by year, 2000-2021
NotesU.S. reporting of gestational diabetes began in 2016.
- Utah Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health and Human Services
- National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Data Interpretation IssuesThe State of Utah uses checkboxes to list maternal risk factors on the birth certificate. Until 1997, there was a single check box for any type of diabetes and it was not possible to differentiate between pre-existing diabetes and gestational diabetes. In 1997, the single diabetes check box was discontinued and replaced with two checkboxes: (1) pre-existing diabetes (having a diabetes diagnosis prior to pregnancy) and (2) gestational diabetes. Rates of gestational diabetes prior to 1997 were estimated by applying the 1997-1999 percentage of gestational diabetes births to all birth records indicating either type of diabetes.
DefinitionPercentages of births listing gestational diabetes on the birth certificate.
NumeratorNumber of live births listing gestational diabetes on birth certificate.
DenominatorNumber of live births for Utah residents.
Healthy People Objective D-1:Reduce the annual number of new cases of diagnosed diabetes in the population
U.S. Target: 7.2 new cases per 1,000 population aged 18 to 84 years
State Target: 7.2 new cases per 1,000 population aged 18 to 84 years
How Are We Doing?The percentage of Utah births with gestational diabetes increased from 6.8 percent of all births in 2020 to 7.5% percent of births in 2021.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?The Utah gestational diabetes rate of 7.5% was lower than the U.S. rate of 8.36% in 2021.
What Is Being Done?The Healthy Environments Active Living (HEAL) Program supports participation in diabetes education for women with gestational diabetes. Diabetes education courses provide instruction on diabetes management for people with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or gestational diabetes. Instructors, who are generally certified diabetes educators or registered dietitians, can help women with gestational diabetes control their blood glucose levels with diet and exercise and thereby reduce their likelihood of needing oral medications or insulin. Programs may be recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES). The Power Your Life ([http://www.poweryourlife.org www.poweryourlife.org]) campaign encourages women to be healthy before pregnancy, including being at a healthy weight.
Evidence-based PracticesThe latest recommendations by the American Diabetes Association clarifies that for women with risk factors (e.g. age, overweight, obesity) for type 2 diabetes, blood glucose testing should occur in the first prenatal visit; if they are found to be glucose intolerant they should be classified as having type 2 diabetes. For women without any risk factors, blood glucose testing is recommended in the second trimester.
Available ServicesDiabetes educators are skilled health professionals that can help individuals diagnosed with diabetes, or women with gestational diabetes, optimize their pregnancy outcomes. Diabetes education programs may be recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES). The HEAL Program lists the available programs on its website, [https://heal.health.utah.gov/dsmes-programs/]. Information on gestational diabetes is available on the American Diabetes Association (ADA) website, [http://www.diabetes.org www.diabetes.org]. A list of ADA-recognized diabetes education classes for Utah can also be found at this site. Another source of information on gestational diabetes is available on the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease website: [https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/types/gestational]
Page Content Updated On 01/20/2023, Published on 01/25/2023