Issue: 2016 > December > original article

Investigating screening for diabetes in women with a history of gestational diabetes

H.S. Brink, M. Alkemade, A.J. van der Lely, J. van der Linden
AbstractFull textPDF


Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is encountered more frequently in women with a history of gestational diabetes (GD). Screening for T2DM after pregnancy is, therefore, recommended every ≥ 1-3 years in this population. Early detection could allow for timely intervention strategies, especially in women of childbearing age. Data on adherence to diabetes screening recommendations and the prevalence of T2DM in this population are not available in the Dutch population.
Aim: To investigate the T2DM screening rate and evaluate the risk of T2DM in the five-year period following GD pregnancy.
Methods: Single-centre survey in 85 women diagnosed with GD in 2010, using electronic medical records. Primary care physicians were asked to complete a survey regarding the screening frequency and the onset of T2DM in the five-year period following the GD pregnancy.
Results: On average 33% underwent yearly screening. The screening rate, however, went up to 61.2% after primary care physicians were requested to screen this population in 2015. Of the women who were screened, 10 (19.2%) developed T2DM within five years after GD.
Conclusion: Current screening recommendations are poorly met, leading to missed, or delayed diagnosis of T2DM in our population. T2DM is a frequently occurring long-term complication in those who were screened in the five-year period after delivery. Optimising awareness amongst health care professionals of GD as a risk factor for T2DM is warranted and strategies to improve surveillance are necessary.