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Semin Perinatol. 2007 Jun;31(3):176-84.

Recurrent gestational diabetes: risk factors, diagnosis, management, and implications.

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  • 1Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford, NJ 08084-1504, USA.


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) should be regarded as a sentinel event in a woman's life that presents challenges and disease prevention opportunities to all providers of health care for women of reproductive age. Prediabetic risk factors are rising in prevalence and include dietary and lifestyle habits, which when superimposed on genetic predisposition contribute to the rising prevalence of type 2 diabetes and GDM. There is growing evidence that treatment of GDM matters, with a continuum of adverse pregnancy outcome risks proportional to degrees of maternal glucose intolerance. GDM in an index pregnancy increases the risk of recurrent GDM in subsequent pregnancies, and recurrence rates of up to 70% have been reported. GDM recurrence rates are influenced by maternal health characteristics and past pregnancy history. The risk of later metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes is increased in women with a history of GDM and women should be screened for postpartum glucose intolerance. Opportunities to prevent recurrent GDM and later type 2 diabetes require attention to risk factors and plasma glucose status with identification of impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance.

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