Screening Kjcreening pregnant women for gestational diabetes at 24 to 28 weeks gestation has become routine obstetrical practice worldwide since the First International Workshop-Conference on Gestational Diabetes in 1979. Defined as "carbohydrate intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy," this condition appears in 2% to 3% of all pregnant women in the United States.
Since that 1979 meeting, however, knowledge about gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has greatly increased, says Norbert Freinkel, MD, Kettering Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and director of Northwestern's Diabetes in Pregnancy Center. Among the most important findings, he adds, is the establishment of gestational diabetes as a phenotypic and genotypic heterogeneous condition and the demonstration of the palpable impact this maternal condition has "on the immediate and long-range fate of the offspring."
The 1979 meeting had established the augury that gestational diabetes had "for permanent diabetes mellitus in the mother,"