GDM as a Risk Factor for the Development of Type 2 Diabetes: An Educational Opportunity for Primary Care Providers

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Local Mentor:Philip Chan, PhDAPGO Advisor:Lee A. Learman, MD, PhDOBJECTIVE:Lack of awareness that gestational diabetes (GDM) increases the risk of subsequent Type 2 Diabetes by 20–60% may impede early screening in primary care. We reviewed the English-language literature to evaluate how frequently gestational diabetes (GDM) is identified as a risk factor for the development of Type 2 Diabetes at least 1 year beyond the postpartum period.DATA SOURCE:Pub Med, Web of Science and CINAHL were searched for English-language articles ever published with key words “gestational diabetes”, “diabetes screening” and “beyond postpartum.”METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION:4330 publications were identified and two investigators independently reviewed their titles, abstracts and articles to determine how many addressed the search objective.TABULATION, INTEGRATION AND RESULTS:153 articles were found that mentioned GDM as a risk factor for developing Type 2 Diabetes. Articles included were categorized according to the area of specific focus including additional risk factors, interventions, specific tests to diagnose and prevention. 197 articles relating to risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes did not include GDM. Articles that excluded GDM as a risk were carefully reviewed to assure there was no GDM-associated wording.CONCLUSION:The majority of publications found did not address the elevated risk of women with GDM by recommending Type 2 diabetes screening beyond the postpartum period. Our findings suggest that education is needed to increase the awareness of this important risk factor in primary care settings.

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