Introduction: Fifty percent of women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) may progress to type 2 diabetes with highest risk among black women. This study aims to characterize postpartum diabetes screening rates among U.S. women with GDM by racial and ethnic group to characterize potential disparities. Materials and Methods: A standardized search of Ovid-Medline, Embase, Scopus, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane, ProQuest, and Clinicaltrials.gov was conducted through October 12, 2018. Of 1,555 titles reviewed, 27 studies met inclusion criteria. Meta-proportion routines with random-effects models estimated pooled postpartum screening proportion effect size (ES) with 95% confidence interval (CI) by racial and ethnic group. Heterogeneity was measured using Cochrane's Q and Higgins I2 tests. Data were stratified by intervention and data source. Results: There were 96,439 women, of whom 81,930 had race/ethnicity recorded. Heterogeneity was high (I2 = 99.7%). Postpartum screening rates were low (pooled ES 42% [95% CI 35%-48%]). Point estimates for pooled screening proportions were lower among white (pooled ES 35% [95% CI 28%-42%]) and black (pooled ES 33% [95% CI 24%-42%]) women than among Hispanic (pooled ES 45% [95% CI 37%-53%]) and Asian (pooled ES 50% [95% CI 41%-58%]) women. Interventions to improve screening were most common and effective among Hispanic women. Discussion: Postpartum screening for diabetes after GDM remains low, and black women have among the lowest postpartum screening rates despite highest risk for type 2 diabetes progression. Reporting of race/ethnicity, screening methods, and screening time frames varied across studies. Conclusion: Future studies must standardize racial/ethnic data reporting and examine interventions that address postpartum diabetes screening and prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-621
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • gestational diabetes
  • health disparities
  • postpartum diabetes screening
  • race and ethnicity


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