Endocrine Society urges diabetes testing for all pregnant women at first prenatal visit

Nov. 7, 2013

The Endocrine Society has issued a Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) to help healthcare professionals provide the best care to pregnant women who have diabetes. The CPG, “Diabetes and Pregnancy: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline,” appears in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Experts acknowledge that cases of diabetes in pregnant women are being missed by traditional screening methods, says Ian Blumer, MD, chair of the task force that authored the guideline. The CPG recommends that all pregnant women who have not been previously diagnosed with diabetes be tested for the condition at their first prenatal visit. The test should be done before 13 weeks' gestation or as soon as possible thereafter. Among further recommendations: All pregnant women who have not previously been diagnosed with diabetes should be tested for gestational diabetes by having an oral glucose tolerance test performed at 24 to 28 weeks' gestation.

The CPG also advocates using lower blood glucose levels to diagnose gestational diabetes. According to Blumer, “Using these lower levels will allow for the detection of gestational diabetes in many women when it would otherwise go undetected using the older diagnostic thresholds. Once the diagnosis is made, treatment can be given to help the fetus grow normally.” Learn more about services offered by the Endocrine Society.