What is the perinatal mortality associated 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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Answer

Answer

In diabetic pregnancy, perinatal mortality has decreased 30-fold since the discovery of insulin in 1922 and the introduction of intensive obstetrical and infant care in the 1970s. Nevertheless, the current perinatal mortality rates among women who are diabetic remain approximately twice those observed in the nondiabetic population.

Congenital malformations, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), and extreme prematurity account for most perinatal deaths in contemporary diabetic pregnancies (see the table below).

Table 1. Perinatal Morbidity in Diabetic Pregnancy (Open Table in a new window)

Morbidity

Gestational Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Hyperbilirubinemia

29%

55%

44%

Hypoglycemia

9%

29%

24%

Respiratory distress

3%

8%

4%

Transient tachypnea

2%

3%

4%

Hypocalcemia

1%

4%

1%

Cardiomyopathy

1%

2%

1%

Polycythemia

1%

3%

3%

Adapted from California Department of Health Services, 1991.


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