Long-term follow-up of women with gestational diabetes mellitus: The South Australian Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Recall Register

Authors


Ms Katherine L. Baldock, Population Research and Outcome Studies Unit, Department of Health, PO Box 287, Rundle Mall, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Email: katherine.baldock@health.sa.gov.auNo relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Background:  Women who have had gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Early detection and management of type 2 diabetes are important for reducing associated complications and costs.

Aims:  To evaluate an existing register for long-term follow-up of women who have been diagnosed with GDM.

Methods:  Recruitment to the GDM Recall Register began at the diabetes centres of two hospitals in South Australia from July 2002, and was expanded to include a third hospital from September 2005. Women enrolled on the Register are sent an annual letter reminding them that they are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and encouraging them to get their blood glucose checked. An update form is also included for women to complete and return to the Register.

Results:  As at 30 June 2009, 817 women were enrolled on the Register. Of women diagnosed with GDM at the participating hospital sites, recruitment to the Register was 68.4% in 2002 and 64.4% in 2007. Of the 429 women who had been sent their first reminder letter, 46.4% had returned the update form. Of these, 56.3% had undergone a glucose test for diabetes. Two women reported developing type 2 diabetes.

Conclusions:  Expansion of the GDM Recall Register is likely to result in increased opportunities for early detection of diabetes for this high-risk group in South Australia, therefore allowing earlier intervention and treatment to prevent or reduce serious, costly diabetes-related complications.

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