Objectives

The aims of this study were to identify predictors of perception of type 2 diabetes risk in women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and to determine factors associated with interest in evidence-based strategies for type 2 diabetes prevention.

Research Design and Methods

We surveyed women with a history of GDM who had not progressed to type 2 diabetes from a large academic medical center. We used multivariate logistic regression to assess predictors of high levels of perception of type 2 diabetes risk. We also tested associations between risk perception and interest in a lifestyle change program and/or metformin therapy.

Results

In our diverse sample of 264 women, 28% were unaware that GDM is a risk factor for incident type 2 diabetes after pregnancy, and 48% believed their personal risk of type 2 diabetes was low. In multivariate analyses, family history of diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 2.2, 95% CI 1.2–4.4) and knowledge of GDM as a risk factor for incident type 2 diabetes (OR 4.5, 95% CI 2.1–9.8) were significant predictors of greater perception of type 2 diabetes risk. Women with higher risk perception were more likely to express interest in a lifestyle change program compared with women with lower risk perception (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.3–4.5).

Conclusion

Although some women are aware that GDM is a risk factor for incident type 2 diabetes, many still perceive their own risk of developing type 2 diabetes as low. Higher risk perception predicted interest in an evidence-based diabetes prevention program, highlighting the importance of personalized risk assessment and communication about risk for women who have had GDM.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.19189514

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