A University of Otago study found that only half of women with gestational diabetes were tested for type 2 diabetes within six months of giving birth.
A 2009 review found that women with gestational diabetes were seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those without.
Research published in Diabetes research and clinical practiceobtained anonymized data from the Ministry of Health’s national collections and used it to identify 14,443 women who had gestational diabetes for the first time between 2005 and 2015.
Of these women, 41% were tested for type 2 diabetes within 3 months of delivery, 53% within 6 months, and 61% within 12 months.
The study’s first author, Dr Andrew Sise, said there is a need for the necessary healthcare systems to ensure that women with gestational diabetes are followed up appropriately.
“The really next step is for the areas of the health system that are involved in gestational diabetes care and that are following these women up to look into it and see what’s going on and why we’re following them up.” It’s about figuring out what we’re not doing. We might be,” he said.
He said efforts to improve postnatal diabetes screening for women with gestational diabetes should ensure that it is done equitably across all population groups, as studies have found regional and ethnic disparities. be.
According to the survey, only 35% of Māori women underwent recommended testing within six months of giving birth.
Dr Cisse said the figure added to the picture of a major health disparity between Maori and non-Maori.
He said a person’s chances of getting tested vary greatly depending on their ethnic group and where they live.
Geographically, testing rates ranged from less than 20% in some areas of Aotearoa to more than 60% in others.
“These differences are truly alarming, and unfortunately they are reflected in broader issues.”
Dr Cisse said the health sector could and should do much better to address the inequities between health care provision for Maori and non-Maori people.