Background: The influence of ethnicity in women with gestational diabetes in relation to maternal, pregnancy and neonatal outcome is not well defined.
Aim: To compare the perinatal outcome in women with gestational diabetes between different ethnic groups reflecting the multi-ethnic population in the Netherlands.
Methods: Patients with gestational diabetes (n = 388) who visited the multidisciplinary outpatient clinic for Diabetes Care and Obstetrics of the Sint Franciscus Gasthuis in Rotterdam between 2010 and 2013 were included. Ethnicity was distinguished into six groups: Moroccan (n = 100); Turkish (n = 43); Caucasian (n = 146); Suriname-Creole (n = 23); Suriname-Hindu (n = 32); and Miscellaneous (n = 44).
Results: Caucasians were the largest group with gestational diabetes (37.7%), followed by Moroccans (25.8%). Body mass index before pregnancy was highest in Surinamese-Creole women, followed by Turks and Moroccans (p < 0.001). Gravidity and parity were highest in Moroccans. Gravidity was lowest in Surinamese-Hindus and parity was lowest in Caucasians (p < 0.001). There was also a remarkable, significant difference in the mode of delivery between the ethnicities with the lowest number of normal deliveries in Caucasians and the highest in Moroccans (p = 0.03). Assisted delivery occurred most frequently in Caucasian women, although there was no difference in the frequency of caesarean sections. Birth weight was the only neonatal parameter showing significant differences between the ethnicities, with the highest birth weight for Moroccan children and the lowest for Surinamese children (3542 g vs. 3200; p = 0.001).
Conclusion: This study did not show major differences in maternal or neonatal complications, however there are significant disparities in (percentile) birth weight and mode of delivery across the different ethnic groups.