HealthDay News — The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for gestational diabetes at or after 24 weeks of gestation. This recommendation forms the basis of a final recommendation statement published in the August 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Jennifer Pillay, from the University of Alberta Evidence-Based Practice Center in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues reviewed 76 studies on screening for gestational diabetes. Only 4 observational studies with inconsistent findings and methodological limitations had direct evidence on benefits of screening vs no screening. The researchers observed no association for screening with serious or long-term harm. Treatment was significantly associated with a reduced risk for primary cesarean deliveries, shoulder dystocia, macrosomia, large for gestational age, birth injuries, and neonatal intensive care unit admissions.

Based on the evidence, the USPSTF concluded with moderate certainty that screening for gestational diabetes at or after 24 weeks of gestation has moderate net benefit to improve maternal and fetal outcomes (B recommendation). The evidence for screening for gestational diabetes before 24 weeks of gestation is insufficient, and the balance of benefits and harms cannot be established (I statement).

“There is limited evidence on the effectiveness of screening before 24 weeks,” a task force member said in a statement. “The task force is calling for more research to determine whether earlier screening could be beneficial for some pregnant people.”


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One author from the evidence report disclosed financial ties to Medtronic.

Evidence Report

Final Recommendation Statement

Editorial