Postpartum glucose tolerance status 6 to 12 weeks after gestational diabetes mellitus: a Brazilian cohort

Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2014 Mar;58(2):197-204. doi: 10.1590/0004-2730000003069.


Objectives: The aims of this study were to estimate the local rate of postpartum diabetes screening after gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) pregnancies, and to identify clinical variables associated with retesting rates and with the persistence of decreased glucose tolerance.

Subjects and methods: Prospective cohort of GDM women with prenatal delivery at a specialized center, from November 2009 to May 2012. All women were advised to schedule a 6 weeks postpartum 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

Results: Of the 209 women included, 108 (51.7%) returned to be tested with fasting plasma glucose (n=14), OGTT (n=93) or random glucose (n=1). Return was associated with lower parity rate (2 vs. 3, p<0.001) and higher pregnancy 2-h OGTT (165 vs. 155 mg/dL, p=0.034), but not with socio-demographic characteristics. Four women (3.7%) had diabetes, 22 (20.4%) had impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance. Persistent hyperglycemia was associated with a positive family history of diabetes (relative risk-RR 2.41, p=0.050), diagnostic 2-h OGTT in pregnancy (RR 1.01, p=0.045), insulin use during pregnancy (RR 2.37, p=0.014), and cesarean section (RR 2.61, p=0.015).

Conclusions: Even though postpartum abnormalities were frequent in GDM, rates of postpartum diabetes screening were undesirably low. As no specific clinical profile defines who will adhere to postpartum testing, it is essential to encourage all women to reevaluate their glucose status, particularly those with a family history of diabetes and more severe hyperglycemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Diabetes, Gestational / blood*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fetal Macrosomia / epidemiology
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / diagnosis*
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Postpartum Period / blood*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / blood
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose