Background: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is more common among African, Hispanic, Indian, and Asian women than Caucasian women GDM prevalence has risen by 2-3 times in recent years, ranging from 8.9% to 53.4%. This study aimed to investigate Qassim women’s awareness of gestational diabetes.
Methods: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted among women living in the Qassim region of Saudi Arabia. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed among women using an electronic questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised socio-demographic data and 17 items focused on broad awareness and knowledge regarding DM and GDM risk factors, assessment, therapy, and implications to measure GDM knowledge and awareness.
Results: Among the 633 women studied, 48.5% were aged more than 35 years old. The prevalence of women with a previous history of GDM was 15.3%. Based on our results, the level of awareness regarding GDM was poor among 60.3% of women, 33% had moderate awareness, and only 6.6% were estimated to have good awareness levels. Factors associated with increased awareness were being younger, living in Buraydah, having better education, being employed, having associated chronic disease, having a previous history of GDM, and knowing someone with GDM.
Conclusion: The awareness of women in the Qassim region regarding gestational diabetes was deficient. However, increased awareness was demonstrated more frequently by younger women who were currently working with better education, a previous history of GDM, and knowing someone with the same disease. It is necessary to improve the awareness of women regarding GDM so they can effectively manage the disease and alleviate fears of getting complications. The healthcare providers’ role is imperative.
Key words: Gestational diabetes, women, awareness, pregnancy.