To assess patterns and predictors of postpartum diabetes screening in a commercially insured, geographically and sociodemographically diverse sample of women with gestational diabetes mellitus.
Using commercial insurance claims (2000-2012) from all 50 states, we conducted a retrospective cohort study in 447,556 women with at least one delivery and continuous enrollment 1 year before and after delivery. We identified women with a gestational diabetes mellitus pregnancy and examined postpartum diabetes screening type and timing and performed logistic regression to identify screening predictors.
Gestational diabetes mellitus was diagnosed in 32,253 (7.2%) women during the study timeframe. Three fourths received no screening within 1 year postpartum. Rates of recommended 75-g oral glucose tolerance testing within 6-12 weeks were low but increased over time (27 [2%] in 2001 compared with 249 [7%] in 2011, adjusted odds ratio [OR] 3.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.0-47). Among women screened, those in the Northeast (19%) and South (18%) were least likely to receive a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test within 0-12 weeks (adjusted OR 0.4 for each, CI 0.4-0.5) compared with the West (36%). Asian women were most likely to receive any screening (18%; adjusted OR 1.5, CI 1.3-1.6) compared with white women (12%). Black women were most likely to receive hemoglobin A1c (21%; adjusted OR 2.0, CI 1.3-3.2) compared with white women (11%). Antepartum antiglycemic medication (21%; adjusted OR 2.1, CI 2.0-2.3) or visit to a nutritionist-diabetes educator (19%; adjusted OR 1.6, CI 1.4-1.7) or endocrinologist (23%; adjusted OR 1.7, CI 1.6-1.9) predicted screening within 12 weeks postpartum.
Postpartum diabetes screening remains widely underused among commercially insured women with gestational diabetes mellitus. Differences in screening by geography, race, and antepartum care can inform health system and public health interventions to increase diabetes detection in this high-risk population.