Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), defined as any degree of glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy, is characterized by underlying maternal defects in the β-cell response to insulin during pregnancy. Women with a previous history of GDM have a greater than 7-fold higher risk of developing postpartum diabetes compared with women without GDM. Various risk factors for postpartum diabetes have been identified, including maternal age, glucose levels in pregnancy, family history of diabetes, pre-pregnancy and postpartum body mass index, dietary patterns, physical activity, and breastfeeding. Genetic studies revealed that GDM shares common genetic variants with type 2 diabetes. A number of lifestyle interventional trials that aimed to ameliorate modifiable risk factors, including diet, exercise, and breastfeeding, succeeded in reducing the incidence of postpartum diabetes, weight retention, and other obesity-related morbidities. The present review summarizes the findings of previous studies on the incidence and risk factors of postpartum diabetes and discusses recent lifestyle interventional trials that attempted to prevent postpartum diabetes.
Keywords: Clinical trial; Diabetes mellitus, type 2; Diabetes, gestational; Epidemiology; Risk factors.