Introduction: Women with a history of gestational diabetes (GDM) are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes and thus require regular follow-up screening for diabetes; however, many women do not receive this screening, and in particular low-income women face disparities in receipt of recommended follow-up care. While these women may have limited access to healthcare following pregnancy, they may more regularly access social service programs that serve themselves or their young children. Leveraging these social service touchpoints could broaden opportunities to improve follow-up care receipt among women with a history of GDM. To describe these potential opportunities, we used national representative data to characterize diabetes screening needs among women with a history of GDM who access the Special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) or Head Start programming for their young children.
Methods: We analyzed national representative data from the National Health Interview Survey from calendar years 2016 and 2017. Our analytic sample included women aged 18 to 45 years who were linked to at least one of their children in the dataset and who had a self-reported history of GDM but did not have prediabetes or diabetes. We examined the proportion of these women who accessed WIC or Head Start who did not report having testing for diabetes within the past 3 years.
Results: Of 432 (representing 2,002,675 weighted) women meeting inclusion criteria, 21.7% accessed WIC and 8.7% Head Start. Nearly 1 in 10 women with a history of GDM in either group did not report recent diabetes screening. In sensitivity analyses that excluded likely pregnancy-related testing, 35.0% of women accessing WIC and 21.2% of those accessing Head Start had not had recent screening.
Discussion: There is an unmet need for follow-up diabetes screening among women with a history of GDM who access WIC or Head Start services for their young children. Leveraging women's touchpoints with these programs could enhance opportunities to improve recommended diabetes screening among a high-risk population.
Keywords: Follow-Up Care; Gestational Diabetes; Health Care Disparities; Prediabetic State; Pregnancy; Risk Factors; Screening; Social Work; Type 2 Diabetes; Women's Health.
© Copyright 2020 by the American Board of Family Medicine.