HealthDay News — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening asymptomatic pregnant women for gestational diabetes after 24 weeks of gestation, according to a final recommendation statement published online Jan. 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Diabetes that begins during pregnancy can cause serious health problems for expectant mothers and their babies,” USPSTF chair Virginia A. Moyer, MD, MPH, said in a statement. “The good news is that screening all women after 24 weeks of pregnancy is simple, and can result in better health outcomes for both the mother and the baby.” 

Researchers from the USPSTF reviewed the evidence relating to the accuracy of gestational diabetes screening tests, the benefits of screening before and after 24 weeks of gestation and the benefits and harms of treatment.

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Based on currently available literature, the USPSTF has issued a Grade B recommendation in favor of screening asymptomatic pregnant women for gestational diabetes after 24 weeks of gestation. This recommendation applies to pregnant women without a history of type 1 or 2 diabetes.

There is currently insufficient evidence to weigh the benefits and potential harms of screening asymptomatic women for gestational diabetes before 24 weeks of gestation (Grade I statement), according to the task force.

USPSTF called for additional research to determine how screening affects maternal and child health outcomes, the most beneficial glucose thresholds to determine a positive screen, treatment targets and a standardized strategy for gestational diabetes screening and diagnosis.


  1. Moyer VA et al. Ann Intern Med. 2014; doi:10.7326/M13-2905.