AIMS Gestational diabetes (GDM) is generally diagnosed late in pregnancy, precluding early preventive interventions. This study aims to validate, in a large Caucasian population of pregnant women, models based on clinical characteristics proposed in the literature to identify, early in pregnancy, those at high risk of developing GDM in order to facilitate follow up and prevention. METHODS This is a cohort study including 7929 pregnant women recruited prospectively at their first prenatal visit. Clinical information was obtained by a self-administered questionnaire and extraction of data from the medical records. The performance of four proposed clinical risk-prediction models was evaluated for identifying women who developed GDM and those who required insulin therapy. RESULTS The four models yielded areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) between 0.668 and 0.756 for the identification of women who developed GDM, a performance similar to those obtained in the original studies. The best performing model, based on ethnicity, body-mass index, family history of diabetes and past history of GDM, resulted in sensitivity, specificity and AUC of 73% (66-79), 81% (80-82) and 0.824 (0.793-0.855), respectively, for the identification of GDM cases requiring insulin therapy. CONCLUSIONS External validation of four risk-prediction models based exclusively on clinical characteristics yielded a performance similar to those observed in the original studies. In our cohort, the strategy seems particularly promising for the early prediction of GDM requiring insulin therapy. Addition of recently proposed biochemical markers to such models has the potential to reach a performance justifying clinical utilization.
S. Thériault, J. Forest, J. Masse
Diabetes research and clinical practice