Untreated gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with an increased risk of complications for both mother and child. Many of these complications can be reduced by early diagnosis and treatment of GDM. However, worldwide there is a lack of agreement on the best way to diagnose and treat GDM.
In the Netherlands, the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology guideline “Diabetes and Pregnancy” for the screening and treatment of GDM was implemented in 2010. The diagnostic thresholds are based on the old WHO consensus originating from 1999 and have until now not been updated to the newest (more stringent) criteria, implemented in 2013. These new criteria have been adopted by many expert committees. However, evidence that applying the stricter criteria for GDM improves pregnancy outcomes is limited.
The research described in this thesis aimed to evaluate the current Dutch national guideline of GDM i.e. what is the outcome of GDM pregnancies using this guideline? And what are consequences when the current diagnostic criteria of GDM are to be revised?
In this thesis we have shown that the currently used national guideline for screening and treatment of GDM is successful in reducing the risk of short-term adverse outcomes, but not in reducing the likelihood of having a large-for-gestational-age neonate. We have also shown that the long-term care for GDM is far from optimal and requires further improvement. In order to further optimize GDM care and pregnancy outcomes we advise the use of more stringent blood glucose criteria for GDM diagnosis.