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OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence and characteristics of islet cell autoimmunity amongst women with gestational diabetes selected from South Asian and Afro-Caribbean as well as European populations. DESIGN: Cross-sectional retrospective survey of subject cohort. POPULATION: Three hundred and twenty-one women with a recent history of gestational diabetes (173 European, 86 South Asian and 62 Afro-Caribbean), a median (range) of 22 (1-150) months postpartum. RESULTS: Antibodies to Glutamic acid decarboxylase were found in 13 (4%) of these women. There was no difference in the prevalence of anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase positivity between the three ethnic groups (European 4.6%, South Asian 3.5%, Afro-Caribbean 3.2%). Anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase positive women were leaner than anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase negative women (body mass index, median (upper-lower quartile) 23.9 (22.5-26.7) vs 26.6 (23.4-30.5)kg/m2, P = 0.03, P = 0.049 allowing for ethnicity). There was no difference between glutamic acid decarboxylase-positive and glutamic acid decarboxylase-negative women for age, family history of diabetes, waist/hip ratio, prevalence of insulin treatment during pregnancy, postpartum glucose status, lipid profile and indices of insulin action and beta-cell function. CONCLUSIONS: Markers of islet cell autoimmunity are found as frequently in gestational diabetes women of South Asian and Afro-Caribbean origin, as they are in European subjects. Identification of future risk of type 1 diabetes is relevant to the planning of clinical management and intervention strategies in women with gestational diabetes of all major ethnic groups.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





716 - 720


Adult, Asia, Southeastern, Autoantibodies, Autoimmunity, Cross-Sectional Studies, Diabetes, Gestational, Europe, Female, Glutamate Decarboxylase, Humans, Islets of Langerhans, London, Pregnancy, Retrospective Studies, West Indies