Treating mild gestational diabetes mellitus: a cost-effectiveness analysis

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Sep;205(3):282.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.06.051. Epub 2011 Jun 21.


Objective: This study investigated the cost-effectiveness of treating mild gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Study design: A decision analytic model was built to compare treating vs not treating mild GDM. The primary outcome was the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). All probabilities, costs, and benefits were derived from the literature. Base case, sensitivity analyses, and a Monte Carlo simulation were performed.

Results: Treating mild GDM was more expensive, more effective, and cost-effective at $20,412 per QALY. Treatment remained cost-effective when the incremental cost to treat GDM was less than $3555 or if treatment met at least 49% of its reported efficacy at the baseline cost to treat of $1786.

Conclusion: Treating mild GDM is cost-effective in terms of improving maternal and neonatal outcomes including decreased rates of preeclampsia, cesarean sections, macrosomia, shoulder dystocia, permanent and transient brachial plexus injury, neonatal hypoglycemia, neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, and neonatal intensive care unit admissions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section / economics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Diabetes, Gestational / drug therapy
  • Diabetes, Gestational / economics*
  • Dystocia / economics
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Severity of Illness Index