Community-level social determinants of health and pregestational and gestational diabetes

Christine Field*, William A Grobman, Lynn M. Yee, Jasmine Johnson, Jiqiang Wu, Becky McNeil, Brian Mercer, Hyagriv Simhan, Uma Reddy, Robert M. Silver, Samuel Parry, George Saade, Judith Chung, Ronald Wapner, Courtney D. Lynch, Kartik K. Venkatesh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Individual adverse social determinants of health are associated with increased risk of diabetes in pregnancy, but the relative influence of neighborhood or community-level social determinants of health is unknown. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine whether living in neighborhoods with greater socioeconomic disadvantage, food deserts, or less walkability was associated with having pregestational diabetes and developing gestational diabetes. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a secondary analysis of the prospective Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: Monitoring Mothers-To-Be. Home addresses in the first trimester were geocoded at the census tract level. The exposures (modeled separately) were the following 3 neighborhood-level measures of adverse social determinants of health: (1) socioeconomic disadvantage, defined by the Area Deprivation Index and measured in tertiles from the lowest tertile (ie, least disadvantage [T1]) to the highest (ie, most disadvantage [T3]); (2) food desert, defined by the United States Department of Agriculture Food Access Research Atlas (yes/no by low income and low access criteria); and (3) less walkability, defined by the Environmental Protection Agency National Walkability Index (most walkable score [15.26–20.0] vs less walkable score [<15.26]). Multinomial logistic regression was used to model the odds of gestational diabetes or pregestational diabetes relative to no diabetes as the reference, adjusted for age at delivery, chronic hypertension, Medicaid insurance status, and low household income (<130% of the US poverty level). RESULTS: Among the 9155 assessed individuals, the mean Area Deprivation Index score was 39.0 (interquartile range, 19.0–71.0), 37.0% lived in a food desert, and 41.0% lived in a less walkable neighborhood. The frequency of pregestational and gestational diabetes diagnosis was 1.5% and 4.2%, respectively. Individuals living in a community in the highest tertile of socioeconomic disadvantage had increased odds of entering pregnancy with pregestational diabetes compared with those in the lowest tertile (T3 vs T1: 2.6% vs 0.8%; adjusted odds ratio, 2.52; 95% confidence interval, 1.41–4.48). Individuals living in a food desert (4.8% vs 4.0%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.37; 95% confidence interval, 1.06–1.77) and in a less walkable neighborhood (4.4% vs 3.8%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.04–1.71) had increased odds of gestational diabetes. There was no significant association between living in a food desert or a less walkable neighborhood and pregestational diabetes, or between socioeconomic disadvantage and gestational diabetes. CONCLUSION: Nulliparous individuals living in a neighborhood with higher socioeconomic disadvantage were at increased odds of entering pregnancy with pregestational diabetes, and those living in a food desert or a less walkable neighborhood were at increased odds of developing gestational diabetes, after controlling for known covariates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101249
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology MFM
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Area Deprivation Index
  • food desert
  • food insecurity
  • gestational diabetes
  • neighborhood disadvantage
  • pregestational diabetes
  • pregnancy
  • social determinants of health
  • walkability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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