Postpartum glucose follow-up and lifestyle management after gestational diabetes mellitus: general practitioner and patient perspectives

Sarah H Koning, Helen L Lutgers, Klaas Hoogenberg, Chris A Trompert, Paul P van den Berg, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel

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BACKGROUND: Incidence of type 2 diabetes is high after gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). We aimed to evaluate the adherence to follow-up six-weeks postpartum visits in secondary care after GDM and glucose monitoring in primary care longer than 12-14 months after delivery and the years thereafter. In addition, we examined the women's lifestyle after delivery.

METHODS: A cross-sectional follow-up survey among women with a history of GDM and their general practitioners (GP). Rates of attendance at the six-weeks postpartum visit and glucose testing were obtained from hospital records, over the period 2011-2012. Rates of annual follow-up postpartum glucose testing were assessed by a survey among their GP's. Lifestyle of the women on diet and exercise was assessed by questionnaire in 2015.

RESULTS: In total 197 women were eligible for the study. Of these, 156 (79%) attended the six-weeks postpartum visit at the diabetes outpatient clinic and in 145 (93%) of these women glucose testing was performed. In total 77 (39%) women responded to the invitation to participate in this study and filled in the lifestyle questionnaire. About one third of the women met the recommendations for sufficient physical activity. A majority of them did not fulfil the Dutch guidelines on healthy diet - fruit intake 35.1%, vegetables intake 7.8%. Of the 74 invited GP's, 61 responded (82%), only 12 (20%) reported that they had performed a follow-up glucose testing within >12-14 months postpartum. Of these women, five were tested only in the first year of follow-up, five also in the second year, and two were tested for three consecutive years.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the high attendance rate of six-weeks postpartum visit and glucose testing, we observed low rates of longer-term follow-up regarding postpartum glucose testing. Moreover, we found a suboptimal adherence to healthy lifestyle for women with a history of GDM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of diabetes and metabolic disorders
Publication statusPublished - 7-Dec-2016

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