Gestational diabetes: the need for a common ground

Lancet. 2009 May 23;373(9677):1789-97. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60515-8.


Gestational diabetes mellitus is a substantial and growing health concern in many parts of the world. Certain populations are especially vulnerable to developing this condition because of genetic, social, and environmental factors. Gestational diabetes has serious, long-term consequences for both baby and mother, including a predisposition to obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes later in life. Early detection and intervention can greatly improve outcomes for women with this condition and their babies. Unfortunately, screening and diagnostic tests are not uniform worldwide, which could lead not only to underdiagnosis but also undermanagement of the illness. Here, we report the controversies surrounding the causes, screening, diagnosis, management, and prevention of gestational diabetes, and give specific recommendations for research studies to address the major issues of this medical condition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Causality
  • Cost of Illness
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / diagnosis
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / etiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational* / prevention & control
  • Diet, Diabetic
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Fetal Macrosomia / epidemiology
  • Fetal Macrosomia / etiology
  • Global Health
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care
  • Risk Assessment