Strategy to improve the burden of gestational diabetes in African women: Rwandan perspective
The global prevalence of gestational diabetes (GDM) in pregnant 20-49 year old women has increased to 16.9%, although data from Africa on GDM are scarce, and risk exposure to pregnant women is unknown. Among the 288 pregnant women screened in Rwanda, 8.3% of women with FPG >126 mg/dL (>6.9 mmol/L) had GDM. Age >41 years (45.8% vs. 18.9%; p<0.001), first-family history of T2D (29.2% vs. 3.4%; p<0.001) and gravidity ≥3 pregnancies (79.2% vs. 29.2%; p=0.05) were associated with GDM. Gestational diabetes is a high risk factor for T2D, and increases the risk to T2D for women and their offspring later in life. Thus, improving maternal and child cardiometabolic health in Africa is needed through integrated gestational diabetes screening, and cost-effective sustainable strategies to build healthcare staff capacity, and to prioritize relevant evidence-based research and healthcare.
Keywords: Gestational diabetes, Rwanda, Africa, Women