Adherence to self-glucose monitoring recommendations and perinatal outcomes in pregnancies complicated by diabetes mellitus

Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM. 2019 Aug;1(3):100031. doi: 10.1016/j.ajogmf.2019.100031. Epub 2019 Aug 5.


Background: Self-glucose monitoring is critical for the management of diabetes mellitus in pregnancy; yet, validated reports of adherence to testing recommendations and associated perinatal outcomes are limited.

Objective: Using cloud-based, self-glucose monitoring technology, we sought to answer the following questions: (1) Are there differences in the rates of testing adherence based on type of diabetes mellitus in pregnancy? (2) Is adherence to glucose monitoring recommendations associated with perinatal outcomes in pregnancies that are complicated by diabetes mellitus? We hypothesized that adherence to glucose testing recommendations varies by type of diabetes mellitus and that increased adherence to testing recommendations would be associated with improved perinatal outcomes.

Study design: This single-center, prospective cohort study included women with type 2 diabetes mellitus and gestational diabetes mellitus who were enrolled in a perinatal diabetes program at <29 weeks gestation between December 2015 and June 2018. All women received a cellular-enabled glucometer that uploaded glucose values to a cloud-based, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant platform in real time that ensured transmission of accurate glucose values. The primary outcome was adherence to self-glucose monitoring recommendations. Four glucose checks were advised daily, and percentage of adherence was calculated. Secondary outcomes were preeclampsia, cesarean delivery, large-for-gestational-age neonates, and neonatal hypoglycemia. The study was powered to detect a 10% difference in the primary outcome of adherence to advised self-glucose monitoring by diabetes mellitus type. Adjusted risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals were generated with the use of logistic regression.

Results: This study included 103 eligible women. Baseline characteristics differed between groups, with women with type 2 diabetes mellitus having higher initial HgbA1c and body mass index when compared with women with gestational diabetes mellitus. No differences were noted in age or parity. Adherence was calculated over 20±6 weeks for women with type 2 diabetes mellitus compared with 9±4 weeks for women with gestational diabetes mellitus. Overall adherence to glucose monitoring was significantly less for women with type 2 diabetes mellitus compared with those with gestational diabetes mellitus. Mean testing adherence rates were 51%, 66%, and 70% for type 2 diabetes mellitus, and gestational diabetes mellitus, class A1 and A2, respectively (P=.016). We found that, for every 10% increase in adherence to testing recommendations, the odds of cesarean delivery, neonatal hypoglycemia, and large-for-gestational-age fetuses decreases by 15-20%. There was no association between adherence and rates of preeclampsia.

Conclusion: This study shows that overall adherence to testing recommendations differs by diabetes mellitus type and is associated with neonatal outcomes. Improved outcomes with higher adherence may reflect more timely medication adjustments in response to real-time glucose values. Programs aimed at improving adherence could prove beneficial.

Keywords: adherence; cellular-enabled glucometer; diabetes mellitus; pregnancy; self-glucose monitoring.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Female
  • Glucose
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucose