Missed opportunities for type 2 diabetes mellitus screening among women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus

Am J Public Health. 2006 Sep;96(9):1643-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.065722. Epub 2006 Jul 27.


Objectives: We sought to determine rates and factors associated with screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) in women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus.

Methods: We retrospectively studied women with diagnosed gestational diabetes mellitus who delivered at a university-affiliated hospital (n=570). Data sources included medical and administrative record review. Main outcome measures were the frequency of any type of glucose testing at least 6 weeks after delivery and the frequency of recommended glucose testing. We assessed demographic data, past medical history, and prenatal and postpartum care characteristics.

Results: Rates of glucose testing after delivery were low. Any type of glucose testing was performed at least once after 38% of deliveries, and recommended glucose testing was performed at least once after 23% of deliveries. Among women with at least 1 visit to the health care system after delivery (n=447), 42% received any type of glucose test at least once, and 35% received a recommended glucose test at least once. Factors associated with testing were being married, having a visit with an endocrinologist after delivery, and having more visits after delivery.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that most women with gestational diabetes mellitus are not screened for type 2 DM after delivery. Opportunities for DM prevention and early treatment are being missed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes, Gestational*
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals, University / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies