24 Aug USPSTF: Critically Important to Screen for Gestational Diabetes
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Chien-Wen Tseng. M.D., M.P.H., M.S.E.E.
Professor, Associate Research Director
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine
Hawaii Medical Service Association Endowed Chair
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Gestational diabetes is becoming more common and can cause serious health problems for pregnant people and their babies. Fortunately, the Task Force found that screening at or after 24 weeks of pregnancy is safe and effective and can keep pregnant people and their babies healthy. Currently, there is not enough evidence on screening earlier in pregnancy, so the Task Force is calling for more research.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Screening for gestational diabetes is critically important for the health of pregnant people and their babies. Treatment can reduce the risk of babies born with a high birth weight, cesarean deliveries, birth injuries, and admission to intensive care units. Readers should know that there are several risk factors that increase a person’s risk for developing gestational diabetes, including obesity, older age during pregnancy, and family history of gestational diabetes.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: There is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of screening and treatment for gestational diabetes before 24 weeks. The Task Force is calling for more research on whether earlier screening leads to healthier pregnancies and babies, especially among those who are at higher risk for gestational diabetes.
It’s also important to note that the Task Force recognizes that gestational diabetes is more common in certain communities including Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Pacific Islanders. The Task Force is calling for more research to understand how the effects of screening might differ by racial and ethnic groups. We did not find any current evidence that benefits, or harms of screening differ based on a person’s race.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Gestational diabetes can affect 1 in 20 pregnancies and threatens the health of pregnant people and their babies. Screening for gestational diabetes is simple and effective. Detecting and treating gestational diabetes with lifestyle changes, monitoring, and medications if needed will lead to safer pregnancies and healthier babies. It is crucial that people at or after 24 weeks of pregnancy get screened.
USPSTF Recommendation on Screening for Gestational Diabetes
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Last Updated on August 24, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD