Cynthia Herrick, MD

Cynthia Herrick, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Lipid Research

Research Interests

Prevention and Control

Category(ies) of Research



Descriptor of Research

More than half of women with gestational diabetes (GDM), which now affects ~9% of US pregnancies, will develop type 2 diabetes (T2DM) later in life. The highest risk is in the first 5-10 years after the index pregnancy, and with early detection of at risk patients, lifestyle interventions and medication can reduce the risk for progression to T2DM by 50%. Therefore, screening for T2DM is recommended at 6-12 weeks post-partum and every 1-3 years thereafter, but only about half of women are screened in the immediate post-partum period. There is no long-term data on screening rates beyond the first post-partum year, and there is no published information on screening in uninsured or underinsured populations receiving care in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). We are leveraging the respective strengths of Medicaid administrative claims data and clinical electronic health record data to create a unique dataset of women with GDM who receive care in FQHCs in Missouri. We will define current diabetes screening rates and risk factors for lack of screening. Additionally we will be conducting qualitative interviews with patients, providers and clinic staff to identify barriers to and facilitators of screening. Ultimately, we aim to develop and test interventions to improve diabetes screening and prevention in this vulnerable population. I am also involved in research to understand how patients with chronic diseases like diabetes make decisions regarding medication adherence and a study to improve hyperglycemia in the inpatient setting.