Response to fifty grams oral glucose challenge test and pattern of preceding fasting plasma glucose in normal pregnant Nigerians
Background: Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy has profound implications for the baby and mother and thus active screening for this is desirable. Method: Fifty grams oral glucose challenge test was administered after obtaining consent to 222 women in good health with singleton pregnancies without diabetes mellitus at 24 to 28 weeks gestation after an overnight fast. Venous blood sample was obtained before and 1 hour after the glucose load. A diagnostic 3-hour 100 g oral glucose tolerance test was subsequently performed in all. Results: Two hundred and ten women had a normal response to oral glucose tolerance test i.e. venous plasma glucose below these cut-off levels: fasting 95 mg/dl (5.3 mmol/l), 1 hour 180 mg/dl (10.0 mmol/l), 2 hours 155 mg/dl (8.6 mmol/l) and 3 hours 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/l), while 12 were found to have gestational diabetes mellitus and were subsequently excluded from the study. They were appropriately managed. The mean maternal age was 30.9 4.1 years (range 19 to 45 years) and the mean parity was 1.2 1.1 (range 0 to 5). The mean fasting plasma glucose was 74.5 11.5 mg/dl (range 42 to 117 mg/ dl), while the mean plasma glucose 1 hour after 50 g glucose challenge test was 115.3 19.1 mg/dl (range 56 to 180 mg/dl). Conclusions: The mean fasting plasma glucose in normal pregnant Nigerians was 74.5 11.5 mg/dl (range 42 to 117 mg/dl). There is a need to reappraise and possibly review downwards the World Health Organization fasting plasma glucose diagnostic criteria in pregnant Nigerians for better detection of gestational diabetes mellitus. Pregnant women with venous plasma glucose greater than 153.5 mg/dl (8.5 mmol/l) 1 hour after 50 g glucose challenge test are strongly recommended for diagnostic test of gestational diabetes mellitus.