Research to improve people's health


Gestational diabetes cases increase among younger pregnant women

A study led by researchers from IDIAPJGol shows that obesity rates and socioeconomic status are factors that increase the risk of developing the disease.

8 Trends in the prevalence of gestational diabetes in Catalonia from 2010 to 2019

Gestational diabetes cases have risen from 1.3% to 2.2% among pregnant women under 20 years old and from 3.6% to 4.6% in the age group between 20 and 26 years old between 2010 and 2019. This is according to a study conducted by researchers from the Primary Care Research Institute Jordi Gol (IDIAPJGol) Berta Soldevila, Josep Franch, Bogdan Valcho, Xavier Cos, and Dídac Mauricio, published in the journal Primary Care Diabetes. The study indicates that factors such as overweight, socioeconomic status, and other health conditions like hypertension and dyslipidemia are the main contributors to the increase in gestational diabetes cases in general, not just among younger women.

The principal investigator of this study, Berta Soldevila, explains that it is the first study on the prevalence of gestational diabetes conducted in Catalonia with data from routine clinical practice in almost the entire population attended in ASSIRS, not just a trial in selected women. This has allowed the creation of a temporal profile of how the disease evolves and the design of preventive and early diagnosis strategies.
Based on the study's results, the research team suggests that one of the factors contributing to these data is that younger women now have a higher likelihood of having a higher body mass index before pregnancy. Additionally, socioeconomic status and other health conditions such as hypertension and dyslipidemia have been associated with gestational diabetes.

Early Detection
The study recommends implementing early detection and monitoring protocols for pregnant women, especially those who are younger and have risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. The researchers state that health providers should conduct interventions targeted at high-risk groups, including women with a history of miscarriages, advanced gestational age, and socioeconomic deprivation.

The research considers it essential to address the social determinants of health when developing care plans for pregnant women. In this sense, considering socioeconomic factors can help improve outcomes and reduce inequalities in managing gestational diabetes. The study proposes prioritizing education and support throughout pregnancy, promoting healthy habits, conducting regular follow-ups, and ensuring adherence to treatment plans to empower women with knowledge and resources to improve self-management of gestational diabetes.

The study published in Primary Care Diabetes recommends incorporating these strategies into clinical practice to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and, therefore, improve the health of pregnant women and newborns.

The Role of SIDIAP
The research team has worked with the database of the Information System for the Development of Research in Primary Care (SIDIAP) to access the registry of pregnant women who attend primary care centers in Catalonia. The researchers conducted an exhaustive retrospective analysis, gathering the evolution of gestational diabetes over a decade.

Article reference
Soldevila B, Alarcón L, Vlacho B, Real J, Hernández M, Cos X, Franch-Nadal J, Mauricio D. Trends in the prevalence of gestational diabetes in Catalonia from 2010 to 2019. Prim Care Diabetes. 2024 Apr;18(2):169-176. doi: 10.1016/j.pcd.2023.12.007. Epub 2024 Jan 15. PMID: 38228411.