Maternal age and screening for gestational diabetes: a population-based study

Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Apr;73(4):557-61.


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has recommended screening for gestational diabetes, using a 50-g, 1-hour glucose challenge (threshold for further testing 140 mg/dL or higher), for all pregnant women aged 30 or older and for younger women with risk factors. In order to assess these recommendations, we collected demographic and historic data on 6214 pregnant women representing a population of universally screened individuals. Of 125 cases of gestational diabetes diagnosed (ACOG criteria), 70 patients (56%) were under the age of 30. In addition, 44% of gestational diabetics had no risk factors. The cost per case diagnosed would be $190 with the ACOG recommendations, $192 if the age for routine screening were lowered to 25 years or more, and $222 if universal screening were practiced. Using the ACOG recommendations, 35% of gestational diabetes would go undiagnosed, with little cost savings.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening*
  • Maternal Age*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / epidemiology*
  • Rhode Island
  • Risk Factors