Gestational Diabetes Is A Misnomer



Women with GDM also have a significant risk of developing diabetes later in life. Coustan and associates studied former gestational diabetic women and found diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) in 6% of those tested at 0–2 years, 13% at 3–4 years, 15% at 5–6 years, and 30% at 7–10 years postpartum.20 Other studies have documented type 2 diabetes 3–5 years postpartum in 30–50% of women who had a pregnancy complicated by GDM.21,22


22Mestman JH, Anderson GV, Guadalupe V: Follow-up study of 369 subjects with abnormal carbohydrate metabolism during pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol 39:421-25, 1972.

23Peters RK, Kjos SL, Xiang A, Buchanan TA: Long-term diabetogenic effect of single pregnancy in women with previous gestational diabetes mellitus. Lancet 347:227-30, 1996.


18Sermer M, Naylor D, Gare DJ, Kenshole AB, Ritchie JWK, Farine D, Cohen HR, McArthur K, Holzapfel S, Biringer A, Chen E, for the Toronto Tri-Hopital Gestational Diabetes Investigators: Impact of increasing carbohydrate intolerance on maternal-fetal outcomes in 3,637 women without gestational diabetes. Am J Obstet Gynecol 173:146-56, 1995.

19de Veciana M, Major CA, Morgan MA, Asrat T, Toohey JS, Lien JM, Evans AT: Postprandial versus preprandial blood glucose monitoring in women with gestational diabetes mellitus requiring insulin therapy. N Engl J Med 333:1237-41, 1995.

20Coustan DR, Carpenter MW, O’Sullivan PS, Carr SR: Gestational diabetes mellitus: predictors of subsequent disordered glucose metabolism. Am J Obstet Gynecol 168:1139-45, 1993.

21O’Sullivan JB, Mahan CM: Criteria for the oral glucose tolerance test in pregnancy. Diabetes 13:278-85, 1964.

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