Article

Hospital differences in special care nursery use for newborns of gestational diabetic mothers

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Abstract

Objective: Relatively healthy newborns of mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) sometimes receive unwarranted surveillance. We studied the relationship between hospital characteristics and special care nursery use and total length of stay among GDM deliveries. Methods: We identified GDM deliveries at 44 USA member hospitals of the National Perinatal Information Center from 2007 to 2011. To study low risk, relatively healthy newborns with presumed discretion in special care nursery use, we analyzed 43 444 singleton newborns with only minor or moderate complications and WHO were not preterm or low birthweight. Results: Among eligible newborns, 6% received special care, but this ranged from 1% to 16% across 44 hospitals studied. Unadjusted associations suggested special care nursery use was highest in academic teaching hospitals, the Midwest, hospitals with ≥40% Medicaid births, and hospitals with a high supply of special care nursery beds. However, after controlling for clustering within hospitals, there were no significant associations between hospital characteristics and special care nursery use or length of stay. Conclusions: Hospital-level variation in special care nursery use and length of stay of relatively healthy newborns of mothers with GDM is unexplained by hospital characteristics and suggests other operational or management factors impacting utilization of newborn care resources.

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Article
Gestational diabetes and pregnancy-related hypertension can lead to adverse health effects in mothers and infants. We assessed recent trends in the rates of these conditions in Los Angeles County, California. Hospital discharge data were used to identify all women aged 15-54 years who resided in the county, had a singleton delivery from 1991 through 2003, and had gestational diabetes or pregnancy-related hypertension listed as a discharge diagnosis at the time of delivery. The prevalence of each condition was calculated by calendar year, race/ethnicity, and age group. Temporal trends in the rates were assessed by using negative binomial regression models, controlling for race/ethnicity and age. Separate models were run for each racial/ethnic and age group. The age-adjusted prevalence of gestational diabetes increased more than threefold (from 14.5 cases per 1000 women in 1991 to 47.9 cases per 1000 in 2003). The age-adjusted prevalence of pregnancy-related hypertension also increased (from 40.5 cases per 1000 in 1991 to 54.4 cases per 1000 in 2003). In the multivariable regression analysis, the annual rate increase for gestational diabetes was 8.3% overall and was highest among Hispanics (9.9%). The annual rate increase for pregnancy-related hypertension was 2.8% overall and was highest among blacks (4.8%). The rates of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-related hypertension are increasing in Los Angeles County. Further research is needed to determine the causes of the observed increases and the growing racial/ethnic disparities in those rates.
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  • T Hatlem
  • C Jones
  • Ek Woodard