Postpartum Healthcare after Gestational Diabetes and Hypertension

Deborah B. Ehrenthal, Kristin Maiden, Stephanie Rogers, Amy Ball

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21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Gestational diabetes and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy identify women with an elevated lifetime risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Methods: Prospective cohort of women recruited from the postpartum service of a large community-based academic obstetrical hospital after delivery of a pregnancy complicated by gestational diabetes (GDM) or a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (HDP). Interviews were conducted, and validated surveys completed, before hospital discharge and again 3 months postpartum. Results: The study sample included 249 women: 111 with GDM, 127 with HDP, and 11 with both. Most, 230 (92.4%) had a PCP prior to pregnancy and 97 (39.0%) reported an office visit with their PCP during the prenatal period. Of the 176 (70.7%) participants who attended the 3-month study visit, 169 (96.0%) women with either diagnosis reported they had attended their 6-week postpartum visit. By the 3-month study visit, 51 (57.9%) women with GDM had completed follow-up glucose testing; 93 (97.9%) with HDP had follow-up blood pressure testing; and 101 (57.4%) with either diagnosis recalled ever having completed lipid screening. Women least likely to complete screening tests were those who had no college education, less than a high school level of health literacy, and who were not privately insured. Conclusion: There are important opportunities to improve postpartum testing for diabetes and CVD risk factor assessment. Most women were connected to primary care suggesting a "hand-off" to a primary care physician after pregnancy is feasible. More robust strategies may be needed to improve follow-up care for women with less education, lower health literacy, and those without private health insurance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)760-764
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Volume23
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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