Screening for gestational diabetes should be conducted on all women at 24 weeks of pregnancy, even if they have no symptoms of the disease, a U.S. government-backed panel has advised.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that all pregnant women who have not been previously diagnosed with diabetes should be given a blood test for gestational diabetes at 24 weeks after it found with “moderate certainty” that there is a benefit for gestational diabetes screening after this period.
Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the recommendation is in line with that of several other medical organisations in American, including the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
The USPSTF recommends testing with a 2-hour, 50-g oral glucose challenge test (OGCT) between 24 and 28 week of pregnancies’. This should be followed up with a 2-hour, 100-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) if a patient reaches or surpasses a threshold of 130 mg/dL (7.2 mmol/L).
It continues that in cases where gestational diabetes is diagnosed, the patient should be treated with a combination of dietary changes, moderate physical activity, support from diabetes educators and nutritionists, and blood glucose monitoring.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes mellitus that occurs among pregnant women whose bodies cannot produce or use enough insulin, the hormone that transports glucose into the body’s cells for fuel.
It affects approximately 18% of all pregnancies in the U.S. and, left untreated, raises the risk of complications later in pregnancy, during delivery and post birth for both the mother and child, including the future development of type 2 diabetes.

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