A retrospective analysis of the relationship between race/ethnicity, age at delivery and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus

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The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the relationship between maternal race/ethnicity, maternal age at delivery, and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

RESEARCH DESIGN: Patients of Henry Ford Health System who delivered a live singleton child and were diagnosed with or without GDM in 2010-2015 were included. Maternal race/ethnicity, age, body mass index (BMI), parity, GDM in previous pregnancy, smoking status, and insurance membership were collected from the electronic health records. Neighborhood median family income data were obtained from US Census Bureau. Logistic regression analysis was performed to explore the effects of maternal race/ethnicity and age at delivery on the GDM outcome after adjusting for covariates including maternal BMI, parity, previous GDM, smoking status, and neighborhood family income.

RESULTS: There were 16,258 women included in the study. Of those, 1801 women (12.5%) were diagnosed with GDM. Delivery at older ages (≥23 years) was associated with a significantly higher risk of a GDM diagnosis than younger ages [years, OR (95% CI) = 2.24 (1.84, 2.73)-5.02 (4.18, 6.03)], however, the risk was not as profound in African American women (OR = 1.65) compared to non-African American women (OR = 2.07). In a multivariable model controlling for age, BMI, parity, previous GDM, smoking status, and the neighborhood family income, the risks of a GDM diagnosis were significantly higher in Asians [OR (95% CI) = 2.81 (2.28, 3.48)], Hispanics [OR (95% CI) = 1.27 (1.05, 1.55)], and Arab Americans [OR (95% CI) = 1.46 (1.20, 1.78)] and lower in African Americans [OR (95% CI) = 0.64 (0.56, 0.74)] as compared to whites.

CONCLUSIONS: Asians, Hispanics, and Arab Americans have higher risk and African Americans have lower risk of a GDM diagnosis compared to whites. Delivery at an older maternal age increases the risk of GDM diagnosis. Race/ethnicity moderates the association between older maternal age and risk of GDM diagnosis. This study provides information for public health professionals, health practitioners, and pregnant women to be aware of and better understand the risk of GDM as related to race/ethnicity and maternal age.

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ePub ahead of print