HealthDay News — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends using the 50-g oral glucose challenge test to screen pregnant women for gestational diabetes after 24 weeks of gestation. This Recommendation Statement is based on an evidence review published online May 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“It’s important to remember that each case of gestational diabetes affects two people: the expectant mother and the baby,” Task Force member Wanda K. Nicholson, MD, MPH, said in a statement. “We now have good evidence that screening expectant mothers for gestational diabetes after 24 weeks provides a substantial benefit, with few to no harms, leading to healthier moms and babies.” 

Lois Donovan, PhD, from the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues used data from 51 cohort studies to examine the screening methods for gestational diabetes.

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The researchers found that, at a threshold of 7.8 mmol/L, the sensitivity for the oral glucose challenge test was 70% to 88%; specificity was 69% to 89%; positive likelihood ratio was 2.6 to 6.5; and negative likelihood ratio was 0.16 to 0.33.

Test characteristics were 88% to 99%, 66% to 77%, 2.7 to 4.2, and 0.02 to 0.14, respectively, at a threshold of 7.2 mmol/L. Poorer test characteristics were seen for glycated hemoglobin level versus fasting plasma glucose or the oral glucose challenge test. For screening tests before 24 gestational weeks, there were few data available.

The draft Recommendation Statement is available for comment from May 28 to June 24, 2013.


  1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: Draft Recommendation Statement. AHRQ Publication No. 13-05191-EF-2. Available at: