Awareness of gestational diabetes and its risk factors among pregnant women in Samoa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Lucy Anne Price
  • Lauren Jade Lock
  • Lucy Elizabeth Archer
  • Zubair Ahmed

Colleges, School and Institutes


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a subtype of diabetes mellitus defined as the development, or first recognition, of glucose intolerance during pregnancy. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is greater in mothers with GDM compared to the general population. Preventing the development of GDM could help lower the prevalence of T2DM and long-term morbidity in children of affected mothers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the awareness of GDM and its risk factors among pregnant women in Samoa, exploring where participants obtained information, and understanding their attitudes towards diet and physical activity. A quantitative cross-sectional study of 141 women attending Tupua Tamasese Meaole (TTM) hospital in Apia, Samoa in May 2015 was performed. Fifty-eight percent women were aware diabetes can occur for the first time during pregnancy. The greatest information source was from doctors (37%, n=44) followed by family members (22%, n=28), based on 118 respondents. Only one woman correctly identified all four risk factors for GDM. Most women recognized eating a healthy diet (79%) and regular physical activity (78%) to be appropriate lifestyle changes to help prevent GDM. These findings suggest awareness of GDM among pregnant women in Samoa is mixed, with a very small proportion having good knowledge (based on the number of risk factors identified). We conclude that increased education about GDM is necessary, both in hospital clinics and within the community. By increasing awareness of GDM, it may be possible to decrease the prevalence of T2DM in Samoa.

Bibliographic note

©Copyright 2017 by University Clinical, Education & Research Associates (UCERA)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalHawai'i journal of medicine & public health : a journal of Asia Pacific Medicine & Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Adolescent, Adult, Cross-Sectional Studies, Diabetes, Gestational/epidemiology, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice/ethnology, Humans, Middle Aged, Pregnancy, Risk Factors, Samoa/epidemiology, Young Adult