Pregnant women who were not diabetic before but who have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes (GD). Normally, the disease affects women quite late in her pregnancy, around the 24th week. The disease does not show noticeable signs or symptoms. In some cases however, gestational diabetes may cause excessive thirst or increased urination.
32 million people are living with diabetes in India, and more than 16 percent of pregnant Indian women have gestational diabetes. And the prevalence percentage of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing rapidly. According to a study published in the Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, an overall prevalence of GDM in their study area is about 17% in Chennai, 15% in Trivandrum, 21% in Alwaye, 12% in Bangalore, 18.8% in Erode and 17.5% in Ludhiana. The study also indicated that Indian women have high prevalence of diabetes and their relative risk of developing GDM is 11.3 times compared to white women. Further, Asian women are ethnically more prone to develop glucose intolerance compared to other ethnic groups.
It has also been seen that pregnant women in the age group of 30 to 39 years had greater prevalence of GDM as compared with those in the age group of 20 to 29 years. Considering all these facts, the researchers suggest screening all pregnant women for glucose intolerance.