Outcomes in women with a history of gestational diabetes. Screening and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Literature review

Diabetes Metab. 2010 Dec;36(6 Pt 2):595-616. doi: 10.1016/j.diabet.2010.11.011.


Women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are characterized by a high risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (x 7), metabolic syndrome (x 2 to 5) and cardiovascular diseases (x 1,7). Women with lesser degrees of glucose intolerance share the same risks. T2DM may occur from post-partum (5 to 14%) to several years later, up to 25 years. Some factors associated with T2DM are identified: obesity, early diagnosis of GDM before 24 weeks gestation, high pregnancy OGTT blood glucose or insulin-therapy during GDM. Screening for T2DM only with fasting glucose provides less sensibility than with OGTT; HbA1c may supplant these dosages. The recurrence rate of GDM is between 30 and 84%, non-white ethnicity and insulinotherapy during GDM being the best proven predictors. High risk women need repeated life-long screenings for glycaemic abnormalities, or when another pregnancy is planned. Among obese women with history of GDM who show minor glycoregulation disturbances, modifications of lifestyle in intensive programs or metformin halve the risk of DT2. However, studies analysing practices show low adhesion to screening; without an intensive program, few women implement lifestyle modifications. These intensive programs should be implemented and proposed to high-risk women. Their therapeutic education should also include prevention of cardiovascular risk factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes, Gestational*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior