Goal 4: Reduce the impact of pre-existing & gestational diabetes in pregnancy

Goal 4 focusses on reducing the impact of pre-existing and gestational diabetes in pregnancy.

Two indicators were identified to measure progress against Goal 4:

Indicator 4.1 Proportion of pregnant women being tested for gestational diabetes

Of women who gave birth in 2014, it was estimated that 55% were tested for gestational diabetes during their pregnancy (Data tables). The proportion of mothers tested increased with maternal age (Figure 4.1.1).

It is important to note that there are currently no accessible, national data that directly provide a measure of the proportion of pregnant women who are being tested for gestational diabetes, as births and testing data are not linked. The estimated rate of testing reported here is a proxy measure based on Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) data for the number of tests for gestational diabetes in 2014, divided by the number of births in 2014, which were obtained from the National Perinatal Data Collection. Of note, this measure does not account for multiple births and, as a result, may provide an underestimate of the proportion of women who completed a test for gestational diabetes. Additional work is required to provide a more reliable measure that captures testing among pregnant women and can be used to assess progress against this indicator.

Figure 4.1.1: Proportion of women who gave birth who were tested for gestational diabetes, 2014

The vertical bar chart displays the proportion of mothers who were tested for gestational diabetes. The rate was highest among those aged 30–39 years (58%25) and lowest among mothers less than 20 years of age (43%25).

Source: AIHW analysis of 2014 MBS data. See data table ‘Indicator 4.1’ for data notes.

Indicator 4.2 Incidence of gestational diabetes

The number of hospitalisations with any diagnosis of gestational diabetes, and a diagnosis relating to a pregnancy outcome, was used to estimate the incidence of gestational diabetes in the population.

In 2015–16, there were around 38,000 hospitalisations with a diagnosis of gestational diabetes and a pregnancy outcome (Data tables). Four in five of these hospitalisations occurred in women aged 25–39, with the highest rate in those aged 30–34 (1,567 per 100,000 population) (Figure 4.2.1). The rate of gestational diabetes was higher among those living in Major cities compared with other areas, and among Indigenous women compared with non-Indigenous women (Figure 4.2.2).

These estimates exclude a small number of women who had a diagnosis of gestational diabetes but did not also have a reported pregnancy outcome identified in the hospitalisation data. These data are an underestimate of the true incidence.

Figure 4.2.1. Hospitalisations for gestational diabetes and a birth outcome, by age group, 2015–16

The vertical bar chart displays the rate of hospitalisations for gestational diabetes and a birth outcome, by age group. The rate peaked among women aged 30–34 years (1,567 per 100,000 women).

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database. See data table ‘Indicator 4.2’ for data notes.

Figure 4.2.2. Hospitalisations for gestational diabetes and a birth outcome, by population characteristics, 2015–16

The horizontal bar chart displays the rate of hospitalisations for gestational diabetes and a birth outcome, by Indigenous status, remoteness area and socioeconomic status. The rate was higher among Indigenous women, and increased with increasing levels of socioeconomic disadvantage. The hospitalisation rate decreased with increasing levels of remoteness.

Note:

  1. Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian Standard Female Population (10-54 years).

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database. See data table ‘Indicator 4.2’ for data notes.