Gestational diabetes mellitus is a significant risk factor for long-term ophthalmic morbidity Academic Article uri icon


  • PurposeTo investigate whether patients with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) have an increased risk for long-term ophthalmic morbidity. Methods Design a population-based study compared the incidence of long-term maternal ophthalmic morbidity in a cohort of women with and without a history of GDM. Setting Soroka University Medical Center. Participants: All singleton pregnancies of women who delivered between 1988 and 2013. Main outcome measure(s) Diagnosis of ophthalmic morbidity. Analyses A Kaplan–Meier survival curve was used to estimate cumulative incidence of ophthalmic morbidity. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for ophthalmic morbidity. ResultsDuring the study period, 104,751 deliveries met the inclusion criteria; 9.4% (n = 9888) of which occurred in patients with a diagnosis of GDM during at least one of their pregnancies. Patients with GDM had a significantly higher incidence of ophthalmic morbidity such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal detachment compared with controls (0.1 vs. 0.02%, p < 0.001; 0.2 vs. 0.04%, p < 0.001; 0.2 vs. 0.1%, p < 0.001, respectively). Patients with concurrent GDM and preeclampsia had a significantly higher incidence of total ophthalmic complications compared to patients with GDM only (1 vs. 0.6%, respectively, p < 0.001). Using Kaplan–Meier survival curve, patients with a previous diagnosis of GDM had significantly higher cumulative incidence of ophthalmic morbidity (p < 0.001, log-rank test). In the Cox proportional hazards model, a history of GDM remained independently associated with ophthalmic morbidity (adjusted HR 2.0; 95% CI 1.5–2.8; p < 0.001). ConclusionsGDM is an independent risk factor for long-term maternal ophthalmic morbidity.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017