Factors Associated With Postpartum Diabetes Screening in Women With Gestational Diabetes and Medicaid During Pregnancy

Published:December 11, 2020DOI:


      Women with gestational diabetes are 7 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and require lifelong diabetes screening. Loss of health coverage after pregnancy, as occurs in states that did not expand Medicaid, limits access to guideline-driven follow-up care and fosters health inequity. This study aims to understand the factors associated with the receipt of postpartum diabetes screening for women with gestational diabetes in a state without Medicaid expansion.


      Electronic health record and Medicaid claims data were linked to generate a retrospective cohort of 1,078 women with gestational diabetes receiving care in Federally Qualified Health Centers in Missouri from 2010 to 2015. In 2019–2020, data were analyzed to determine the factors associated with the receipt of recommended postpartum diabetes screening (fasting plasma glucose, 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test, or HbA1c in specified timeframes) using a Cox proportional hazards model through 18 months of follow-up.


      Median age in this predominantly urban population was 28 (IQR=24−33) years. Self-reported racial or ethnic minorities comprised more than half of the population. Only 9.7% of women were screened at 12 weeks, and 20.8% were screened at 18 months. Prenatal certified diabetes education (adjusted hazard ratio=1.74, 95% CI=1.22, 2.49) and access to public transportation (adjusted hazard ratio=1.70, 95% CI=1.13, 2.54) were associated with increased screening in a model adjusted for race/ethnicity, the total number of prenatal visits, the use of diabetes medication during pregnancy, and a pregnancy-specific comorbidity index that incorporated age.


      This study underscores the importance of access to public transportation, prenatal diabetes education, and continued healthcare coverage for women on Medicaid to support the receipt of guideline-recommended follow-up care and improve health equity.
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