Dr. Ron Mataya in his Nichol Hall office at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health
By mjchapman - January 25, 2018

Researchers from all over the world collaborated on a literature review and published a paper titled Gestational diabetes mellitus: Case definition & guidelines for data collection, analysis, and presentation of immunization safety data. Kachikis A, et al. Vaccine. 2017.

In simple terms, Gestational Diabetes Mellitus or GDM, is a condition of carbohydrate and sugar intolerance affecting pregnant women. According to the recently published paper, the prevalence of GDM can range anywhere from 1% to 15% depending on screening methods used, risk factors and ethnicity. The study demonstrated how diagnosis of GDM varies widely around the world and how there is no uniformly accepted definition for this condition.

Ronald Mataya, MD, a global health professor in the LLU School of Public Health participated in the study because of his experience with maternal and child health in Africa. "As public health professionals, a literature review on diabetes in pregnancy is extremely relevant," notes Dr. Mataya. "Diabetes mellitus is one of the major non-communicable diseases in middle to low income countries."

This project is part of the Brighton Collaboration and GAIA (Global Alignment of Immunization Safety Assessment in pregnancy) effort to establish and harmonize case definitions for maternal and neonatal diagnoses that will be used in safety monitoring in vaccine trials globally. There is a special emphasis to have case definitions that are also applicable in low- and middle-income countries. 

According to Dr. Mataya, the group of researchers will be continuing with similar projects. One idea is to look at infections inside the uterus called chorioamnionitis, (a common complication of pregnancy associated with significant maternal, perinatal, and long-term adverse outcomes) and how it is diagnosed around the world.

"We'd like to look at the definitions of a specific country," says Dr. Mataya, "and see how they compare to definitions of other countries and of other professional organizations." The goal is to develop definitions that are applicable in all settings globally.

The full article can be read at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/29150061/?i=1&from=Mataya%20R%5BA…