8 Key Statistics on Gestational Diabetes

Written by: Chris Riley

Medically Reviewed by: Erik Rivera

Number 1:   From 2011 to 2019, individuals that had a singleton live birth, living with age standardized gestational diabetes increased from 47.6% to 63.5% per 1,000 births.

Summary: Differences among race and ethnicity were a primary focus of this article.  Individuals with gestational diabetes are increasing and increasing in prevalence among minority ethnical and racial populations. 

Source: National Center for Health Statistics: Powe, C. E., & Carter, E. B. (2021). Racial and Ethnic Differences in Gestational Diabetes: Time to get serious. JAMA, 326(7), 616-617.

image of pregnant woman checking her blood sugar
A close-up of a pregnant woman having her blood sugar/ glucose checked.

Number 2:   21,376 individuals and their adherence to 3 healthy diets were found to reduce gestational diabetes pregnancies.  aMED diet = 24% lower risk, DASH = 34% lower risk, and aHEI had a 46% lower risk.

Summary:  Individuals that adhered to certain diets were significantly less likely to have gestational diabetes risk during pregnancy.

Source: Tobias, D. K., Zhang, C., Chavarro, J., Bowers, K., Rich-Edwards, J., Rosner, B., … & Hu, F. B. (2012). Prepregnancy adherence to dietary patterns and lower risk of gestational diabetes mellitus. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 96(2), 289-295.

picture of healthy food and diabetes supplies
World diabetes day, Healthcare and medical concept. Healthy food including fresh fruits, vegetables, weight scale, sports shoes, dumbells, measure tape and diabetic measurement set on black background.

Number 3: Gestational Diabetes is prevalent in approximately 2-10% of pregnancies in the United States. Between 1989-1990 & 2000-2003, the prevalence rate of Gestational Diabetes has more than doubled.

Summary: Utilizing the National Hospital Discharge Survey (conducted annually by the National Center for Health Statistics for the United States Center of Disease Control and Prevention) researchers were able to gain a sample size of approximately 58.9 million births from 1989-2004.  It was determined that the prevalence of Gestational Diabetes has more than doubled in size, with race and obesity being key factors. 

Source: Getahun, D., Nath, C., Ananth, C. V., Chavez, M. R., & Smulian, J. C. (2008). Gestational diabetes in the United States: temporal trends 1989 through 2004. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 198(5), 525-e1.

gestational diabetes infographic
Gestational Diabetes infographic

Number 4:  A literature review for worldwide statistics in PubMed for a decade of eligible research (January 1, 2005-August 1, 2015) indicates that the Middle East and North Africa lead the world in prevalence of Gestational Diabetes by 12.9%.

Summary: It was further discovered that Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific followed the Middle East and North Africa in prevalence of Gestational Diabetes by 11.7%.  South and Central America followed by 11.2%, Africa by 8.9%, then North America and Caribbean by 7.0%.

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information, Zhu, Y., & Zhang, C. (2016). Prevalence of gestational diabetes and risk of progression to type 2 diabetes: a global perspective. Current diabetes reports, 16(1), 1-11.

A literature review for worldwide statistics in PubMed for a decade of eligible research (January 1, 2005-August 1, 2015) indicates that the Middle East and North Africa lead the world in prevalence of Gestational Diabetes by 12.9%.
Gestational Diabetes around the globe

Number 5: In a cross sectional study performed for the period between January 1st, 2010 to December 31st, 2018 discovered a 75% increase in prevalence of Gestational Diabetes globally.

Summary: A 75% increase of Gestational Diabetes prevalence worldwide was found when comparing the new criterion of the International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) vs. the old criterion.  Evidence of heterogeneity was discovered, but the new criterion allows movement to a more homogeneous meta-analysis.  

Source:  Science Direct: Saeedi, M., Cao, Y., Fadl, H., Gustafson, H., & Simmons, D. (2021). Increasing prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus when implementing the IADPSG criteria: a systematic review and meta-analysis. diabetes research and clinical practice, 172, 108642.

Number 6: 1 in 10 pregnant women in Eastern and Southeastern Asia had Gestational Diabetes Melltius.

Summary:  In a systematic review/meta-analysis of 4,415 papers  and 48 studies, from January 2000 to December 2016, it was found that Asia had the highest prevalence of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. 

Source:  Journal of Diabetes Research: Nguyen, C. L., Pham, N. M., Binns, C. W., Duong, D. V., & Lee, A. H. (2018). Prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus in eastern and southeastern Asia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of diabetes research, 2018.

Number 7:   In the last 20 years, Gestational Diabetes Mellitus has increased by 10-100% in numerous race/ethnic groups. 

Summary:  In this study, non hispanic white, African-American, Asian, and Hispanic cohorts were all found to have a significant increase in the prevalence of Gestational Diabetes among different races and ethnic groups. 

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information: Ferrara, A. (2007). Increasing prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus: a public health perspective. Diabetes care, 30(Supplement_2), S141-S146.

<a href=Gestational Diabetes Mellitus has increased by 10-100% in numerous race/ethnic groups. ” class=”wp-image-2818″/>
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus has increased by 10-100% in numerous race/ethnic groups. 

Number 8:  Obesity alone carries a 20% increase in risk of Gestational Diabetes.  Obese women are at a higher risk of Gestational Diabetes by 24.5% than non-obese women at 2.2%.

Summary: In a study that recruited 124 patients, comparing obese women to non-obese women, the prevalence of the development of  Gestational Diabetes Mellitus 22.58% in obese women compared to non-obese women by 6.45%.  Most patients were between 20-25 years of age, indicating a risk factor of obesity among young women and developing Gestational Diabetes within the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, leading to complicated pregnancies.

Source:  Rawal Medical Journal: Zaman, N., Taj, N., Nazir, S., Ullah, E., & Fatima, N. (2013). Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and Obesity: An experience at a teaching hospital in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. Rawal Med J, 38(2), 165-68.

Fact Checked and Editorial Process

Diabetic.org is devoted to producing expert and accurate articles and information for our readers by hiring experts, journalists, medical professionals, and our growing Diabetic.org community. We encourage you to read more about our content, editing, and fact checking methods here. This was fact checked by Erik Rivera and medically reviewed by Dr. Angel Rivera. 

fact checked and medically reviewed

References and Sources:

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Gestational Diabetes: Time to Get Serious

Prepregnancy adherence to dietary patterns and lower risk of gestational diabetes mellitus

Gestational diabetes in the United States: temporal trends 1989 through 2004

Epidemiological Patterns of Gestational Diabetes

Increasing prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus when implementing the IADPSG criteria: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Prevalence of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in Eastern and Southeastern Asia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Increasing Prevalence of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A public health perspective

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and Obesity

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