Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of the NT Perinatal Data Collection from 1987-2016, including all births >20 weeks gestation, stratified by maternal Aboriginal identification. Key outcomes were annual rates of pre-existing diabetes, GDM, small-for-gestational-age, large-for-gestational-age, low birthweight (<2500 g), and high birthweight (>4000 g). Logistic regression was used to assess trends and interactions.
Findings: 109 349 babies were born to 64 877 mothers, 36% of whom identified as Aboriginal ethnicity. Among Aboriginal women, rates of GDM and pre-existing diabetes, respectively, were 3·4% and 0·6% in 1987 and rose to 13% and 5·7% in 2016 (both trends p<0·001). Among non-Aboriginal women, rates of GDM increased from 1·9% in 1987 to 11% in 2016 (p<0·001), while pre-existing diabetes was uncommon (≤0·7% throughout). Rates of small-for-gestational-age decreased, while rates of large-for-gestational-age and high birthweight increased in both groups (all trends p<0·001). Multivariable modelling suggests that hyperglycaemia was largely responsible for the growing rate of large-for-gestational-age births among Aboriginal women.
Interpretation: The burden of hyperglycaemia in pregnancy has grown substantially in the NT over three decades and is impacting birthweight trends. The prevalence of pre-gestational diabetes in Aboriginal women is among the highest in the world.