The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of diabetes in pregnancy (gestational diabetes mellitus [GDM] and NIDDM) and to identify risk factors in the development of GDM in a native population in northwestern Ontario, Canada.


A retrospective analysis of 1,305 singleton deliveries among Ojibwa-Cree women from northwestern Ontario, Canada, was conducted from 1990 to 1993 inclusive. GDM was diagnosed using a 3-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and defined according to standard guidelines.


The overall prevalence of diabetes in pregnancy (NIDDM and GDM) was 11.6% (152 of 1,305) with a GDM prevalence of 8.4% (110 of 1,305). Among 741 women with complete data, prevalence rates increased with age, peaking at 46.9% in the age-group ≥ 35 years. Significant risk factors for GDM included older maternal age, multiparity, prepregnancy obesity, a family history of diabetes, and a history of GDM in previous pregnancies.


Diabetes in pregnancy among Ojibwa-Cree reported here represent the highest rates reported to date in a Canadian population. The high rates of maternal obesity and relative young age of this population further highlight the urgent need for diabetes screening and prevention in this population.

This content is only available via PDF.