(HealthDay News) — The use of new International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Group criteria (IADPSGC) for the diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is cost-effective and may improve pregnancy outcomes, according to research published online June 19 in Diabetes Care.

Alejandra Duran, MD, of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and colleagues prospectively assessed pregnancy outcomes and costs associated with use of the traditional two-step Carpenter/Coustan (CC) criteria (April 2011–March 2012) versus the one-step IADPSGC (April 2012–March 2013) in a large cohort of pregnant women.

The researchers found that, compared with use of CC criteria, use of IADPSGC was associated with a higher prevalence of GDM (35.5 vs. 10.6%) and improved pregnancy outcomes, including decreased rates of gestational hypertension (4.1 to 3.5%: −14.6%; P<0.021), prematurity (6.4 to 5.7%: −10.9%; P<0.039), cesarean section (25.4 to 19.7%: −23.9%; P<0.002), small for gestational age (7.7 to 7.1%: −6.5%; P<0.042), large for gestational age (4.6 to 3.7%: −20%; P<0.004), Apgar 1-min score <7 (3.8 to 3.5%: −9%; P<0.015), and admission to neonatal intensive care unit (8.2 to 6.2%: −24.4%; P<0.001). Using IADPSGC vs. CC for diagnosing GDM resulted in cost savings.

“The application of the new IADPSGC was associated with a 3.5-fold increase in GDM prevalence in our study population, as well as significant improvements in pregnancy outcomes, and was cost-effective,” the authors write.

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