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Early intervention of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is effective in reducing pregnancy disorders. Fetal growth, measured by routine ultrasound scan a few weeks earlier before GDM diagnosis, might be useful to identify women at high risk of GDM. In the study, generalized estimating equations were applied to examine the associations between ultrasonic indicators of abnormal fetal growth at 22-24 weeks and the risk of subsequent GDM diagnosis. Of 44,179 deliveries, 8324 (18.8%) were diagnosed with GDM between 24 and 28 weeks. At 22-24 weeks, fetal head circumference (HC) < 10th, fetal femur length (FL) < 10th, and estimated fetal weight (EFW) < 10th percentile were associated with 13% to 17% increased risks of maternal GDM diagnosis. Small fetal size appeared to be especially predictive of GDM among women who were parous. Fetal growth in the highest decile of abdominal circumference (AC), HC, FL and EFW was not associated with risk of subsequent GDM. The observed mean difference in fetal size across gestation by GDM was small; there was less than 1 mm difference for AC, HC, and FL, and less than 5 g for EFW before 24 weeks. Despite similar mean fetal growth among women who were and were not later diagnosed with GDM, mothers with fetuses in the lowest decile of HC, FL and EFW at 22-24 weeks tended to have higher risk of GDM.

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fetal growth, fetal ultrasound, gestational diabetes mellitus, pregnancy nutrition, prenatal screening, Adult, Body Height, Body Weight, Cohort Studies, Diabetes, Gestational, Female, Fetal Development, Humans, Predictive Value of Tests, Pregnancy, Retrospective Studies, Ultrasonography, Prenatal