Prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus in Europe: a meta-analysis

Claire E. Eades*, Dawn M. Cameron, Josie M.M. Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Citations (Scopus)
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Aims Estimates of the prevalence of gestational diabetes vary widely. It is important to have a clear understanding of the prevalence of this condition to be able to plan interventions and health care provision. This paper describes a meta-analysis of primary research data reporting the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus in the general pregnant population of developed countries in Europe.

Methods Four electronic databases were systematically searched in May 2016. English language articles reporting gestational diabetes mellitus prevalence using universal screening in general pregnant population samples from developed countries in Europe were included. All papers identified by the search were screened by one author, and then half screened independently by a second author and half by a third author. Data were extracted by one author. Values for the measures of interest were combined using a random effects model and analysis of the effects of moderator variables was carried out.

Results A total of 3258 abstracts were screened, with 40 studies included in the review. Overall prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus was 5.4% (3.8–7.8). Maternal age, year of data collection, country, area of Europe, week of gestation at testing, and diagnostic criteria were found to have a significant univariate effect on GDM prevalence, and area, week of gestation at testing and year of data collection remained statistically significant in multivariate analysis. Quality category was significant in multivariate but not univariate analysis.

Conclusions This meta-analysis shows prevalence of GDM that is at the upper end of previous estimates in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-181
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • gestational diabetes mellitus
  • prevalence
  • Europe
  • meta-analysis


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