Incidence Rate of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus after Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of 170,139 Women

J Diabetes Res. 2020 Apr 27;2020:3076463. doi: 10.1155/2020/3076463. eCollection 2020.


Objective: The reported incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) after gestational diabetes (GDM) varies widely. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to define the incidence rate of T2DM among women with a history of GDM and to examine what might modulate the rate. Research Design and Methods. We searched PubMed and Embase for terms related to T2DM after GDM up to January 2019. Large cohort studies with sample size ≥300 and follow-up duration of at least one year were included. Data from selected studies were extracted, and meta-analysis was performed using the random-effects model. Subgroups analyses were based on the sample size of gestational diabetes, geographic region, maternal age, body-mass index, diagnostic criteria, and duration of follow-up.

Results: Twenty-eight studies involving 170,139 women with GDM and 34,627 incident cases of T2DM were identified. The pooled incidence of T2DM after GDM was 26.20 (95% CI, 23.31 to 29.10) per 1000 person-years. Women from Asia and those with older age and higher body mass index seem to experience higher risk of developing T2DM. The incidence rate of T2DM was lowest when applying IADPSG (7.16 per 1000 person-years) to diagnose GDM. The risk of developing T2DM after GDM increased linearly with the duration of follow-up. The increments per year of follow-up were estimated at 9.6‰. The estimated risks for T2DM were 19.72% at 10 years, 29.36% at 20 years, 39.00% at 30 years, 48.64% at 40 years, and 58.27% at 50 years, respectively.

Conclusions: The findings of very high incidence of T2DM after GDM add an important insight into the trajectory of the development of T2DM in the long-term postpartum periods, which could provide evidence for consultant and might motivate more women with GDM to screen for T2DM. This trial is registered with PROSPERO identifier CRD42019128980.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors