Background: Our institution services a high proportion of women from different ethnic backgrounds. The number of women who achieve an abnormal result on post-partum oral glucose tolerance testing may differ according to ethnic background.
Aim: To explore the effect of ethnicity on post-partum glucose tolerance test results in women with GDM.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data from 1994-2012 held in a large database of women with GDM attending our institution. All women with GDM who had delivery/birth data and a documented follow-up oral glucose tolerance test [oGTT] result were included. Independent samples T-tests were used to compare means; Chi squared tests were used to compare proportions; significance is p<0.05.
Results: Our audit identified 1809 women. Values for fasting and 2 hr BGL as well as HbA1c obtained at the post partum oGTT were assessed and compared to European women. The (mean±SD) fasting BGL (5.4±0.7mmol/L), was significantly higher than for Non-white African (5.0±1.1mmol/L) and significantly lower than for New Zealand/South Pacific women (5.9±0.7mmol/L) – both p<0.001. The 2 hr BGL (6.3±3.0mmol/L), was significantly lower than for South East Asian (6.8±3.0mmol/L) and South Asian women (7.2±2.1mmol/L) – both p<0.001. The HbA1c (5.3±0.5%), was significantly lower than for South Asian (5.5±0.4%) and New Zealand/South Pacific women (5.8±0.6%) – both p<0.001. There was no significant difference between ethnic groups in time to perform oGTT. The Table shows oGTT findings by ethnic group.
Conclusion: There was no significant difference between ethnic groups in the proportion diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, however, this may be due to small numbers. There were significant differences in impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance which may reflect a difference in underlying pathophysiology within different ethnic groupings.