Objective: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. A register can be used to follow-up high risk women for early intervention to prevent progression to type 2 diabetes. We evaluate the performance of the world’s first national gestational diabetes register.
Research design and methods: Observational study that used data linkage to merge: (1) pathology data from the Australian states of Victoria (VIC) and South Australia (SA); (2) birth records from the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (CCOPMM, VIC) and the South Australian Perinatal Statistics Collection (SAPSC, SA); (3) GDM and type 2 diabetes register data from the National Gestational Diabetes Register (NGDR). All pregnancies registered on CCOPMM and SAPSC for 2012 and 2013 were included–other data back to 2008 were used to support the analyses. Rates of screening for GDM, rates of registration on the NGDR, and rates of follow-up laboratory screening for type 2 diabetes are reported.
Results: Estimated GDM screening rates were 86% in SA and 97% in VIC. Rates of registration on the NGDR ranged from 73% in SA (2013) to 91% in VIC (2013). During the study period rates of screening at six weeks postpartum ranged from 43% in SA (2012) to 58% in VIC (2013). There was little evidence of recall letters resulting in screening 12 months follow-up.
Conclusions: GDM Screening and NGDR registration was effective in Australia. Recall by mail-out to young mothers and their GP’s for type 2 diabetes follow-up testing proved ineffective.