Numeracy is the ability to understand and use numbers in daily life. Low diabetes (DM) numeracy is associated with poor knowledge of DM, lower perceived efficacy in managing DM, and worse glycemic control. Numeracy score (NS) is obtained using a validated diabetes screening tool assessing use of numbers in diabetes management.
Retrospective cohort study of 345 women with pregestational diabetes (preDM, n=166) or gestational diabetes (GDM, n=179) between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2020. Patients were identified using our clinic diabetes database. Pregnancy data were obtained from a statewide QI database and medical records. Chi-square test was used for categorical variables and unpaired t test for continuous variables. For adjusted estimates, logistic regressions were used for binary outcomes and least squared regressions for continuous outcomes.
No difference was observed between preDM and GDM groups in low NS (19.3% versus 20.1%, P=.846). Demographics were similar between groups, except for low NS by race (Asian 34.2%, Black-NH 58.1%, LatinX 20.0%, multiethnic 41.7%, and White-NH 10.4%, P<.01). When controlled for DM type, women with low and high NS had similar third-trimester hemoglobin A1c values (5.89% versus 5.68%, P=.059), except among Black women with low NS, who had significantly higher A1c in the third trimester (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.28–0.81; P<.01).
Low NS did not impact A1c values in the third trimester, except in Black women. Black women with low NS had worse glycemic control in the third trimester regardless of DM type. Additional studies are warranted to investigate the role of numeracy in glycemic control and develop interventions, particularly in Black women.