Risk factors and management of gestational diabetes

Cell Biochem Biophys. 2015 Mar;71(2):689-94. doi: 10.1007/s12013-014-0248-2.


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is considered to be a typical condition of glucose intolerance in which a woman previously undiagnosed with diabetes exhibits high levels of blood glucose during the third trimester of pregnancy. It can hence be defined as any degree of intolerance to glucose with its first recognition only during the pregnancy. Approximately 7 % of all cases of pregnancy are found to be variedly complicated with GDM and this result in more than 200,000 cases annually. In US only, GDM has been found to complicate about 7-14 % cases annually, and the trend seems to have increased by 35-100 % in the recent years. A history of GDM can be considered to be one of the sturdiest risk factors concerning the development of type 2 diabetes. Among women who have a history of GDM, the risk of developing classical type 2 diabetes usually ranges from 20 to 50 %. Evidences collected from various efficacy trials suggest that lifestyle interventions like weight management can modulate and prevent type 2 diabetes in at-risk individuals. The cornerstone of GDM management is glycemic control, and hence, it is attributed to be the main focus of attention for the therapy. In this review, we have tried to highlight the various risk factors associated with GDM along with the available therapeutic options in the treatment and management of the disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes, Gestational / diagnosis
  • Diabetes, Gestational / genetics
  • Diabetes, Gestational / metabolism
  • Diabetes, Gestational / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors