Progestogens for the prevention of preterm birth and risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis


      Several articles have implied that progestogen supplementation during pregnancy to reduce the risk of preterm birth may increase the risk for developing gestational diabetes mellitus.


      The purpose of the present meta-analysis was to accumulate existing evidence concerning this correlation.

      Data Sources

      We searched Medline (1966–2019), Scopus (2004–2019), (2008–2019), EMBASE (1980–2019), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials CENTRAL (1999–2019), and Google Scholar (2004–2019) databases.

      Study Eligibility Criteria

      Randomized trials and observational studies were considered eligible for inclusion in the present meta-analysis. To minimize the possibility of article losses, we avoided language, country, and date restrictions.

      Study Appraisal and Synthesis Methods

      The methodological quality of included studies was evaluated with the Cochrane risk of bias and the Risk Of Bias In Non-Randomized Studies of Interventions (ROBINS-I) tool. Meta-analysis was performed with the RevMan 5.3 and secondary analysis with the Open Meta-Analyst software. Trial sequential analysis was conducted with the trial sequential analysis program.


      Overall, 11 studies were included in the present meta-analysis that recruited 8085 women. The meta-analysis revealed that women who received 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate had increased the risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus (risk ratio, 1.73, 95% confidence interval, 1.32–2.28), whereas women who received vaginal progesterone had a decreased risk, although the effect did not reach statistical significance because of the unstable estimate of confidence intervals (risk ratio, 0.82, 95% confidence interval, 0.50–1.12). Meta-regression analysis indicated that neither the methodological rationale for investigating the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (incidence investigated as primary or secondary outcome) (coefficient of covariance, –0.36, 95% confidence interval, –0.85 to 0.13, P = .154) nor the type of investigated study (randomized controlled trial/observational) (coefficient of covariance –0.361, 95% confidence interval, –1.049 to 0.327, P = .304) significantly altered the results of the primary analysis. Trial sequential analysis suggested that the meta-analysis concerning the correlation of 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate was of adequate power to reach firm conclusions, whereas this was not confirmed in the case of vaginal progesterone.


      The results of the present meta-analysis clearly indicate that women who receive supplemental 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate for the prevention of preterm birth have an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus. On the other hand, evidence concerning women treated with vaginal progesterone remains inconclusive.

      Key words

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