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Important Facts for Diabetes: gestational diabetes


Percentages of births listing gestational diabetes on the birth certificate.


Number of live births listing gestational diabetes on birth certificate.


Number of live births for Utah residents.

Data Interpretation Issues

The State of Utah uses checkboxes to list maternal risk factors on the birth certificate. Until 1997, there was a single check box for any type of diabetes and it was not possible to differentiate between pre-existing diabetes and gestational diabetes. In 1997, the single diabetes check box was discontinued and replaced with two checkboxes: (1) pre-existing diabetes (having a diabetes diagnosis prior to pregnancy) and (2) gestational diabetes. Rates of gestational diabetes prior to 1997 were estimated by applying the 1997-1999 percentage of gestational diabetes births to all birth records indicating either type of diabetes.

Why Is This Important?

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as having abnormally high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. This abnormality usually disappears after pregnancy, although about 50% of women with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Mothers with gestational diabetes are more likely to have large babies (over 4,000 grams or roughly 9 pounds), a risk factor for non-elective cesarean section delivery and adverse birth outcomes. Infants born to women with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing diabetes and obesity themselves.

Healthy People Objective D-1:

Reduce the annual number of new cases of diagnosed diabetes in the population
U.S. Target: 7.2 new cases per 1,000 population aged 18 to 84 years
State Target: 7.2 new cases per 1,000 population aged 18 to 84 years

How Are We Doing?

The percentage of Utah births with gestational diabetes increased from 6.8 percent of all births in 2020 to 7.5% percent of births in 2021.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The Utah gestational diabetes rate of 7.5% was lower than the U.S. rate of 8.36% in 2021.

What Is Being Done?

The Healthy Environments Active Living (HEAL) Program supports participation in diabetes education for women with gestational diabetes. Diabetes education courses provide instruction on diabetes management for people with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or gestational diabetes. Instructors, who are generally certified diabetes educators or registered dietitians, can help women with gestational diabetes control their blood glucose levels with diet and exercise and thereby reduce their likelihood of needing oral medications or insulin. Programs may be recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES). The Power Your Life ([]) campaign encourages women to be healthy before pregnancy, including being at a healthy weight.

Evidence-based Practices

The latest recommendations by the American Diabetes Association clarifies that for women with risk factors (e.g. age, overweight, obesity) for type 2 diabetes, blood glucose testing should occur in the first prenatal visit; if they are found to be glucose intolerant they should be classified as having type 2 diabetes. For women without any risk factors, blood glucose testing is recommended in the second trimester.
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 21 July 2024 23:19:02 from Utah Department of Health and Human Services, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 26 Jun 2024 10:27:17 MDT