This study was carried out to examine the incidence of diabetes and the factors associated with this in a cohort of South Indian women 5 years after they were examined for gestational diabetes (GDM). Women (N=630) whose GDM status was determined (Carpenter-Coustan criteria; GDM: N=41) delivered live babies without major anomalies at the Holdsworth Memorial Hospital, Mysore. Of these, 526 women (GDM: N=35) available for follow-up after 5 years underwent a 2-h oral glucose tolerance test and detailed anthropometry. Diabetes was determined using WHO criteria, and Metabolic Syndrome using IDF criteria recommended for south Asian women. The incidence of diabetes (37% versus 2%) and Metabolic Syndrome (60% versus 26%) was considerably higher in women with previous GDM compared to non-GDM women. GDM women who developed diabetes had lower gestational insulin area-under-the-curve (P=0.05). They had larger waist-to-hip ratio, skinfolds, body mass index, and lower 30-min insulin increment at follow-up than other GDM women. In all, history of diabetes in first-degree relatives was independently associated with higher incidence of diabetes (P<0.001). Our findings suggest high diabetes and cardiovascular risks in women with previous GDM. Follow-up of these women after delivery would provide opportunities to modify adverse lifestyle factors.