Aims To assess the relationship between neighbourhood deprivation and the rate of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) using routinely collected data from a clinical information system, in Plymouth, UK.
Methods Between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 1997, 3933 women residing within the Plymouth Primary Care Trust (PCT) were screened for GDM using indices of neighbourhood deprivation and prevalence of GDM. Areas (n = 43) were classified according to the Townsend index, measuring material deprivation. Pregnant women with and without GDM were compared.
Results The prevalence of GDM was 1.7%[95%, confidence interval (CI) 1.20, 2.11]. The prevalence of GDM ranged from 1.05% (95% CI 0.60, 1.70) in the most deprived to 2.10% (95%, CI 1.34, 3.13), in the least deprived neighbourhood. Crude rates decreased by 50%[relative prevalence (RP) (95% CI) 0.50 (0.27, 0.94); P = 0.06] amongst those living in the most-deprived compared with those living in the least-deprived areas. Using a stepwise binary logistic regression model, older age at delivery significantly increased the risk of developing GDM. [RP (95%, CI) 1.09, (1.04, 1.13)]. Townsend deprivation score had no significant independent association with GDM when other covariates were considered.
Conclusion These data suggest that the neighbourhood context in which women live has no impact on the risk of GDM.