Factors Associated With Postpartum Diabetes Screening in Women With Gestational Diabetes and Medicaid During Pregnancy

Am J Prev Med. 2021 Feb;60(2):222-231. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2020.08.028. Epub 2020 Dec 11.


Introduction: Women with gestational diabetes are 7 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and require lifelong diabetes screening. Loss of health coverage after pregnancy, as occurs in states that did not expand Medicaid, limits access to guideline-driven follow-up care and fosters health inequity. This study aims to understand the factors associated with the receipt of postpartum diabetes screening for women with gestational diabetes in a state without Medicaid expansion.

Methods: Electronic health record and Medicaid claims data were linked to generate a retrospective cohort of 1,078 women with gestational diabetes receiving care in Federally Qualified Health Centers in Missouri from 2010 to 2015. In 2019-2020, data were analyzed to determine the factors associated with the receipt of recommended postpartum diabetes screening (fasting plasma glucose, 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test, or HbA1c in specified timeframes) using a Cox proportional hazards model through 18 months of follow-up.

Results: Median age in this predominantly urban population was 28 (IQR=24-33) years. Self-reported racial or ethnic minorities comprised more than half of the population. Only 9.7% of women were screened at 12 weeks, and 20.8% were screened at 18 months. Prenatal certified diabetes education (adjusted hazard ratio=1.74, 95% CI=1.22, 2.49) and access to public transportation (adjusted hazard ratio=1.70, 95% CI=1.13, 2.54) were associated with increased screening in a model adjusted for race/ethnicity, the total number of prenatal visits, the use of diabetes medication during pregnancy, and a pregnancy-specific comorbidity index that incorporated age.

Conclusions: This study underscores the importance of access to public transportation, prenatal diabetes education, and continued healthcare coverage for women on Medicaid to support the receipt of guideline-recommended follow-up care and improve health equity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / diagnosis
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Medicaid
  • Missouri
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States
  • Young Adult