Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Its Knowledge and Associated Factors among United Arab Emirates University Students

Maryam M. Bashir, Luai A. Ahmed, Meera R. Alshamsi, Sara Almahrooqi, Taif Alyammahi, Shooq A. Alshehhi, Waad I. Alhammadi, Hind A. Alhosani, Fatima H. Alhammadi, Rami H. Al-Rifai, Fatma Al-Maskari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) burden is burgeoning globally. Correct knowledge about GDM among young people is paramount for timely prevention. This study assesses GDM knowledge and identifies factors associated with it among United Arab Emirates (UAE) University students. A validated self-administered questionnaire collected data from the university students. We analyzed the data for GDM knowledge status (ever heard of GDM) and GDM knowledge levels (poor, fair, and good) and conducted ordinal logistic regressions to assess for associated factors. A total of 735 students were surveyed with a mean age of 21.0 years. Of these, 72.8% had heard of GDM, and 52.9% of males versus 20.3% of female students had never heard of the condition before. Higher age (p = 0.019) and being a postgraduate student (p = 0.026) were associated with higher GDM knowledge status in males. GDM knowledge level analysis showed that 24.0%, 58.5%, and 17.5% had poor, fair, and good knowledge. The mean GDM-knowledge score was 6.3 ± 2.4 (out of 12). Being married [aOR-1.82 (95%CI 1.10–3.03)] and knowing someone who had GDM [aOR-1.78 (95%CI 1.23–2.60)] were independently associated with higher GDM knowledge levels among stu-dents. Students’ primary source of GDM knowledge was family/friends. There is an observed knowledge gap related to GDM among the students, especially males. This study urges the need to accelerate targeted GDM awareness campaigns among university students and the general population in the UAE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8381
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2022


  • GDM
  • United Arab Emirates
  • diabetes
  • gestational
  • knowledge
  • pregnancy
  • students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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