Department of Biology, College of Science, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as a metabolic disorder that frequently occurs in pregnant women, with significant effects on the health of mothers and fetus, even years following delivery.GDM indicates the situation where serum glucose level is observed with the onset of gestation. Maternal diabetes has possible impacts on fetal development throughout gestation. At earlier stages of pregnancy, maternal diabetes might possibly result in congenital disorders with a higher miscarriage risk. The majority of congenital disorders exert adverse impacts on principal organs of the body such as the heart and brain. Throughout the second and third gestational trimesters, maternal diabetes might cause overfeeding along with exaggerated infantile growth. Moreover, GDM could rise the maternal risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus or possibly re-appearance of GDM later in life. In addition, mothers can be at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Early diagnosis of GDM is critical to avoid short term threats, such as those occurring during delivery, as well as long term influences, including cardiovascular and metabolic disorders in both mothers and infants. As a common practice, the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) has been accepted as a main parameter for the diagnosis of GDM. Current technological advances have made glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) a more consistent and user-friendly test with accessibility for the diagnosis of GDM. Furthermore, this test does not need fasting and ensures higher level of comfort for pregnant women as compared to the OGTT. However, none of the recent guidelines related to GDM diagnosis have recommended this test so far.