American Diabetes Association
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Psychiatric morbidity in women with previous gestational diabetes mellitus – a nationwide register-based cohort study

posted on 2023-03-16, 16:18 authored by Maria Hornstrup Christensen, Marianne Skovsager Andersen, Katrine Hass Rubin, Ellen Aagaard Nohr, Jori Aalders, Christina Anne Vinter, Dorte Moeller Jensen



To investigate associations between previous gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and incident psychiatric morbidity. Additionally, to explore the role of subsequent diabetes mellitus development in psychiatric morbidity risk.

Research design and methods

A nationwide register-based cohort study including all women delivering in Denmark from 1997 to 2018 was conducted. GDM exposure was based on diagnosis code, whereas psychiatric morbidity outcome was based on diagnosis codes and psychopharmacological medication use. Multiple Cox regression and mediation analyses were performed.


In a study population of 660,017 women, previous GDM was associated with increased risks of depression based on diagnosis code and/or medication use (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.22 [95% CI 1.18–1.27]), any psychiatric diagnosis (aHR 1.20 [95% CI 1.13–1.27]), and any psychopharmacological medication use (aHR 1.21 [95% CI 1.17–1.25]). Moreover, risks of depressive and anxiety disorders, as well as antidepressant and antipsychotic medication use were increased, with aHRs ranging from 1.14 [95% CI 1.05–1.25] to 1.32 [95% CI 1.22–1.42]. No associations were found regarding substance use disorders, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorders, postpartum psychiatric disease, and anxiolytic medication use. Psychiatric morbidity risk was higher in women with than without subsequent diabetes development. However, GDM history only impacted risk estimates in women without subsequent diabetes. Subsequent diabetes mediated 35-42% of the associations between GDM and psychiatric morbidity.


GDM was associated with increased psychiatric morbidity risk. Subsequent diabetes development played a significant role in the future psychiatric morbidity risk after GDM, although it only partly explained the association.


Steno Diabetes Center Odense


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