Screening and management of gestational diabetes mellitus in Scottish obstetric units: a national survey

Simpsons Centre for Health, Fiona C. Denison, Corinne D. B. Love, Robert S. Lindsay, Rebecca M. Reynolds*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: The last study of screening practices for gestational diabetes (GDM) in the UK concluded that a lack of consensus about screening was due to a lack of clinical guidelines. We aimed to determine current practices in Scotland since new guidelines recommended that diagnosis should be made at a lower level of hyperglycaemia.

Method and results: An online questionnaire designed to investigate the screening and management of GDM was distributed to all maternity units in Scotland managing women with GDM (n = 15) for completion by relevant clinical team members. The response rate was 100%. Considerable variation in clinical practice existed between units. Thirteen units (86.7%) had adopted the lower glucose tolerance values for diagnosis of GDM (fasting >= 5.1 mmol/L; 2-h >= 8.5 mmol/L) recommended by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network in 2010. Available data from units using this guideline (n = 3) revealed a significant increase in the percentage of women diagnosed with GDM between 2010 and 2012 (2010: 1.28%, 2012: 2.54%; p <0.0001).

Conclusion: Despite provision of clinical guidelines, there are still inconsistencies in screening and management of GDM in Scotland. If a similar increase in the prevalence of GDM is experienced across Scotland, there will be major implications for health care provision and resource allocation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalScottish Medical Journal
Issue number1
Early online date4 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • Gestational diabetes
  • pregnancy
  • screening
  • management


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