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Diabetes screening call for pregnant Maori

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/02/2017
The results show that only 63 per cent of 656 women who gave birth during two six-month periods in 2013 and 2014 were screened for diabetes in pregnancy. © Press Association The results show that only 63 per cent of 656 women who gave birth during two six-month periods in 2013 and 2014 were screened for diabetes in pregnancy.

Greater effort is needed to increase the number of pregnant Maori and Pacific women being screened for diabetes, New Zealand researchers say.

A study examining the screening rates in a region with a high Maori population has found them to be "unacceptably low'".

Researchers did an audit of routine hospital data from two hospitals in the Bay of Plenty District Health Board area.

The results show that only 63 per cent of 656 women who gave birth during two six-month periods in 2013 and 2014 were screened for diabetes in pregnancy.

The study, published in the NZ Medical Journal, found screening was less common in Maori women (56 per cent) compared with European women (76 per cent).

After adjusting for ethnicity, women aged 35-40 were more likely to be screened compared with those aged 25 to 29.

The study authors, from Auckland University and the Bay of Plenty DHB, say further resources are needed to increase engagement with Maori and Pacific women to achieve equitable screening rates across all ethnic groups and regions.

This is especially so as these communities are at greater risk of type-2 diabetes.

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