Introduction: World Health Organization estimates that deaths resulting from diabetes will rise above 50% by the year 2020; hence urgent action is needed to reverse the trend notably through nutrition and lifestyle intervention among populations at risks. Studies have established that nutritional environment and physiology of the mother affects neonate's health at infancy and later in life thus this study sought to investigate the risk factors for development of gestational diabetes focusing age, weight, family history and pre-existing medical condition which could be modified to improve population health. Methods: a retrospective cohort study design was used. Subjects were sampled from selected maternity facilities in Nairobi and were subjected to oral glucose test to ascertain Gestational Diabetes mellitus (GDM) status. A questionnaire was administered to a sample of 238 respondents. Quantitative data was then analyzed as descriptive statistic, univariate and multivariate regression. Results: average age for mothers with GDM was high with a mean of 33.06 (95% C.I: 31.59-34.52) compared to a mean of 27.9 (95% C.I: 27.01-28.78) for non- GDM mothers. Weight before pregnancy was high with mean of 74.04 (95% C.I: 70.82-77.30) among mothers with GDM compared to mean of 60.27 (95% C.I:58.59-61.96) among non-GDM mothers. Mothers with diabetic history in the family had twice the risk of developing GDM (OR= 2.27; 95% C.I: 1.23-4.17) compared to those who did not observe diabetic history in the family. Conclusion: gestational diabetes cases are relatively high. Age advancement; high weight and diabetic history in family are determining factors for development of diabetes among pregnant women.
The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24