Prevalence and Incidence of Diabetic Retinopathy in Women with Gestational Diabetes and Overt Diabetes First Diagnosed in Pregnancy

  • Paolo Nico A. Rogelio Philippine General Hospital
  • Darby E. Santiago University of the Philippines-Manila, Philippine General Hospital
Keywords: diabetes, pregnancy, retinopathy


Objectives. Due to the lack of evidence linking retinopathy to gestational and overt diabetes, the utility of dilated fundus examination for screening is not established. This study aimed to determine prevalence and progression of retinopathy among newly diagnosed diabetic pregnant women.

Methodology. The study was a single-center observational, descriptive study at the outpatient department of a tertiary hospital. Newly diagnosed pregnant women were enrolled based on local criteria, using the 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test, HbA1C level, and random blood sugar test. Dilated fundus photo examination was used to document retinopathy. Fundus photo examination was done every trimester, at delivery and post-partum. Prevalence and incidence of diabetic retinopathy were measured and monitored.

Results. Seventy-one women were classified to have gestational diabetes and with no diabetic retinopathy on first consult and remained free of retinopathy during pregnancy and post-partum. In two women diagnosed with ODM, one showed sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy, was asymptomatic and had a visual acuity of 20/20.

Conclusion. GDM had no negative impact on retinal pathology and prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was higher among those with ODM. Our results suggest that screening in the GDM population is not advisable, and inconclusive in ODM.

Author Biography

Darby E. Santiago, University of the Philippines-Manila, Philippine General Hospital

Dr. Darby Santiago is a clinical associate professor of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of the Philippines-Manila, Philippine General Hospital. He is a Vitreoretina specialist.