Cutting costs, while adding years to mother and baby

18 Oct 2021

Screening Australian women for gestational diabetes would lead to long-term cost efficiencies, as well as improved health outcomes, according to a study by The University of Queensland and Mater Research.

silhouette of pregnant womanProfessor Brenda Gannon from the UQ Centre for the Business and Economics of Health and co-led research which concluded that implementation of a new strategy would achieve savings of AU$25,509 per disability-adjusted life years averted.

“Using data from a cohort of more than 25,000 pregnant women, we looked at the cost-effectiveness of new treatment guidelines reducing adverse events and preventing future type 2 diabetes,” Professor Gannon said.

“Use of the new Australian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society (ADIPS) strategy for gestational diabetes mellitus was shown to lead to cost-saving care compared to a scenario where no screening was performed.

“The new ADIPS strategy combines screening with antenatal care and postpartum lifestyle management.

“Findings of our study reinforce the importance of early detection of gestational diabetes mellitus as an opportunity for early prevention of disease throughout the lifespan of mother and child, and avoiding the associated costs.”

The study demonstrated a link between high maternal glucose levels between 24 and 32 weeks’ gestation and adverse maternal and fetal outcomes.

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