The Association of Overweight and Obesity with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in Pregnant Women Attending Ante Natal Care in Selected Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2019/2020

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Abeba University


Background: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is associated with a higher incidence of maternal, perinatal, and neonatal morbidities. Publication around the world showed that overweight and /obesity is a potential risk factor for gestational diabetes mellitus. Because of late antenatal care booking in our country and self-report of pre-pregnancy body mass index is not reliable, it’s difficult to get pre-pregnancy or early pregnancy body mass index to measure overweight and obesity. Despite the increment in the incidence of overweight and obesity in our country, there is limited study showing the association of overweight and obesity with GDM in pregnant women and even the available studies lack consistency in findings. Objective: This study aims to assess the association of maternal overweight and obesity with gestational diabetes mellitus in pregnant women in selected hospitals of Addis Ababa from March 10 to July 30, 2020. Methods: An unmatched case-control study was conducted on 159 pregnant women with GDM (case) and 477 pregnant women without GDM (control) in selected hospitals in Addis Ababa. Each hospital had been conducted screening of GDM for high-risk pregnant women and diagnosis was made using the 2013 World Health Organization (WHO) criteria by a physician. Overweight and obesity were measured using Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) and Calf Circumference (CC). Descriptive statistics used to present the sociodemographic profile of the study participants. Binary and multiple logistic regression analyses were done to measure the association of overweight and obesity with GDM. Finding was reported using adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence interval and statistical difference was declared at P-value <0.05. Result: GDM was associated with obesity (MUAC ≥33 and CC ≥39 cm) (AOR = 2.80; 95% CI: 1.58–4.90) but not with overweight (MUAC ≥ 28 cm) (AOR = 1.51; 95% CI: 0.71–3.21). Previous history of caesarean section (AOR = 1.91; 95% CI: 1.14–3.21), having inadequate minimum dietary diversification score (<5) (AOR = 3.55; 95% CI: 2.15–5.86), engaging in low and moderate physical activity (AOR = 3.56; 95% CI: 1.49–8.48) and (AOR = 1.99; 95% CI 1.17–3.40) also associated with the development of GDM. Conclusion and Recommendation: Obesity but not overweight have found to be significantly associated with the development of GDM. Thus, screening for GDM is recommended for obese pregnant women (having MUAC ≥33 and CC ≥39 cm). Policy makers also should plan policies to decrease obesity among women of childbearing age before and in between conception. Antenatal care providers should provide information for women of childbearing age on maintaining a healthy body weight before and in between pregnancies, the need for healthy diversified food and physical activity.



Gestational Diabetes mellitus, obesity, overweight, MUAC, CC