To evaluate the association of social factors with glycemic control in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
A survey instrument assessing social support, access to healthy food, cooking and meal preparation, chaotic lifestyle, employer support, and physical and emotional responses to food was developed and administered to women with GDM at maternal–fetal medicine office visits. Validated scales were used to measure social support and life chaos (defined as organization, instability, and the ability to plan and prepare for the future). Glycemic control and pregnancy outcome were ascertained by chart review. Multivariable logistic regression was used to quantify the association of these factors with the primary outcome of satisfactory glycemic control, defined as greater than 70% of blood sugars within goal.
We approached 145 women, of whom 111 agreed to participate (76.5%). Seventy-seven percent of patients (86/111) achieved satisfactory glycemic control. Chaotic lifestyle (Confusion, Hubbub and Order Scale score 12.5±2.9 for those with good control, 16.3±3.9 for poor control; odds ratio [OR] 0.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.59–0.85) and receipt of food stamps (11/86 [12.9%] for good control and 10/25 [40%] for poor control; OR 0.22, 95% CI 0.08–0.62) were associated with decreased likelihood of achieving glycemic control. Being married (67/86 [77.9%] for good control and 12/25 [48.0%] for poor control; OR 3.82, 95% CI 1.49–9.74) and regular exercise (49/86 [57.0%] for good control and 5/25 [20.0%] for poor control; OR 5.03, 95% CI 1.72–14.72) increased the likelihood of achieving glycemic control. Transportation time to food stores, home cooking, and social support were not associated with glycemic control or pregnancy outcomes.
Social factors are associated with glycemic control in GDM and may be modifiable to improve glucose control.