Maternal and neonatal outcomes associated with gestational diabetes in women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Western Australia

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Abstract

Aims

To compare maternal and neonatal outcomes for Australian-born women with gestational diabetes mellitus with those of culturally and linguistically diverse and non-culturally and linguistically diverse foreign-born women with gestational diabetes.

Methods

A total of 205 616 singleton births in Western Australia between 1998 and 2006 were examined using multivariate logistic regression. Risks of ten maternal and neonatal outcomes associated with gestational diabetes were compared for pregnancies with gestational diabetes to foreign-born women from both culturally and linguistically diverse and non-culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds vs. Australian-born women. The same outcomes were also compared for pregnancies without gestational diabetes.

Results

Foreign-born culturally and linguistically diverse women were more likely to undergo emergency Caesarean section, but less likely to have pre-eclampsia, an elective Caesarean section or induced labour than Australian-born women. Their infants were less likely to be large for gestational age, require resuscitation or be transferred to specialist care. These differences were also evident among pregnancies without gestational diabetes to culturally and linguistically diverse women, but did not exist between foreign-born non-culturally and linguistically diverse women and Australian-born women with gestational diabetes.

Conclusions

While gestational diabetes places women and infants at increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes, these outcomes differed for foreign-born women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds when compared with Australian-born women. Further investigation is required to elucidate why being foreign-born and culturally and linguistically diverse reduces the risk of several of these outcomes.

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