Fewer than one in four women with a history of gestational diabetes (sudden onset diabetes in pregnancy) are later screened for signs of T2D despite the fact they are known to be at extra risk, a study at Leicester University has found.
If it is not well managed gestational diabetes can lead to complications including induced labour, a caesarean section and a larger than normal baby. It usually disappears after giving birth, but leaves this group of women with a higher risk of going on to develop T2D.
Current research suggests doctors are not aware of the necessity of screening these women. In this study of 10,868 women with gestational diabetes between 2000 and 2018, researchers just looked at recorded tests, so it is not clear whether the affected women were not offered tests, or whether they were offered tests but did not take up the opportunity. According to the results published by Primary Care Diabetes, 85% of women with previous gestational diabetes attended screening at least once within the first five years following pregnancy, but only 23.87% of were screened on average once a year, as recommended.
The researchers say strategies need to be developed to motivate more women to attend screening, as well as increase knowledge among GPs of the the need to screen women every year in this risk group.