The long-term effects on offspring of abnormal glucose tolerance detected during pregnancy were examined in 552 Pima Indian offspring 5-24 yr of age. Fasting hyperinsulinemia, presumably reflecting increased insulin resistance, occurred at an earlier age in the offspring of women who had abnormal glucose tolerance during pregnancy, and these offspring were more obese and had higher rates of abnormal glucose tolerance. When confounding factors were controlled, a 1 mM higher 2-h postload glucose concentration during pregnancy resulted in a significantly higher prevalence of diabetes in the offspring (odds ratio = 162). Maternal 2-h glucose concentration during pregnancy was also a significant predictor of glucose concentration during pregnancy in the offspring (P = 0.011). Thus, the metabolic abnormalities associated with the diabetic pregnancy result in long-term effects on the offspring, including insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes, which in turn may contribute to transmission of risk for developing the same problems in the next generation.