Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. The purpose of this study was to assess self-reported methods used by specialists in obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) and in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) to screen for type 2 diabetes in women with PCOS.
We analyzed responses to a web-based survey of from 123 OB/GYN and 223 REI physician members of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Initial diabetes screening of all women with PCOS was performed by fewer OB/GYNs (57%) than REIs (71%). Approximately 1/3 of both groups reported initial screening only for those with additional risk factors, and 3% reported no screening. Re-screening for diabetes was reportedly performed by similar numbers of OB/GYNs (49%) and REIs (53%). Re-screening was reportedly not performed by the remaining 51% of OB/GYNs and 47% of REIs. For initial screening, the 2 h glucose tolerance test (GTT) was reportedly used by fewer OB/GYNs than REIs (59% vs 72%), fasting plasma glucose (FPG) by more OB/GYNs (22% vs 8%), and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) by a similar number (19% vs 20%). For re-screening, GTT was reportedly used by a similar proportion of OB/GYNs and REIs (27% vs 32%), FPG was used more by OB/GYNs (43% vs 23%), and HbA1c was used less (30% vs 45%).
Not all OB/GYN and REI respondents followed diabetes screening guidelines for women with PCOS. Screening rates for women with PCOS might be increased by continued educational efforts concerning their high risk for diabetes, and by the recent recommendation to use HbA1c for diabetes screening in high-risk populations.