Journal article Open Access

ASSESSMENT OF AWARENESS ABOUT GESTATIONAL DIABETES MELLITUS AMONG RURAL ANTENATAL POPULATION OF PUNJAB, PAKISTAN

Muhammad Waleed, Attiya Kanwal, Madad Ali

Introduction: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is the most frequent medical complication of pregnancy. GDM is a severe threat to maternal and child health in a resource constraint country like Pakistan. Awareness of the condition among antenatal women will translate into prevention and early diagnosis of the disease.

Material and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted during October to December 2020. Data collection was done using a questionnaire through convenient sampling. Antenatal women were interviewed during routine antenatal visits. SPSS-26 was used for data analysis.

Results: 263 participants were included in this study. Majority (53.2%) of the participants did not know that blood sugar level only increases during gestational diabetes mellitus. Only 31.9% knew that 100mg/dl is the cut-off fasting blood sugar value for diagnosis of GDM. Regarding risk factors, 177 (67.3%), 148 (56.3%), 178 (67.7%) and 160 (60.8%) participants were aware that risk of GDM increases with age, history of diabetes in first degree relative, past history of GDM and obesity simultaneously. 37.6% knew that gestational diabetes rarely persists as chronic diabetes following delivery. 55.5% answered that insulin is used if blood sugar level remains uncontrolled. 46.64%, 51.3% and 43.7% of the study population knew that risk of neonatal hypoglycemia, respiratory distress and structural cardiac defects in newborn increases, respectively, in case of gestational diabetes.

Discussion: Majority of the study population had good knowledge about risk factors. Awareness about management and neonatal complications of gestational diabetes needs to be improved. Healthcare providers should actively educate the public to decrease the disease burden.

Keywords: Gestational diabetes, awareness, risk factors, neonatal complications, management. 

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