Few women who meet criteria for early gestational diabetes screening receive it
Only 12% of women who met the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ criteria for early gestational diabetes screening actually received it at a New York hospital, researchers reported.
ACOG recommends that all pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes (GDM) at 24 to 28 weeks’ gestation. Study author Shobha Jagannatham, MD, an OB/GYN at Mount Sinai West and Morningside, and colleagues noted that ACOG updated its guidance in 2017 to align with that of the American Diabetes Association, recommending early screening for women who are at high risk for GDM — specifically, patients who are overweight and have an additional diabetes risk factor.
“Earlier diagnosis will help patients to engage in behavior changes and potentially start hypoglycemic agents earlier” and could provide benefits to the mother and unborn child, she said in a pre-recorded poster presentation at ACOG’s annual meeting.
The researchers reviewed the charts of 314 women who gave birth at Mount Sinai West in January 2020. They reported that although one-third (n = 97) of the women met ACOG’s criteria for early GDM screening, only 12 actually received it. Nearly one-fifth of the women who met the criteria for early GDM screening but were not screened were ultimately diagnosed with GDM further along in their pregnancy.
“This raises the question of whether obstetric providers at our institution are recognizing all the patients who meet criteria for early screening,” Jagannatham said.
She said the researchers plan to design an electronic health alert that helps physicians identify pregnant women who meet the criteria for early GDM screening, then ascertain that tool’s effectiveness over time.