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Diabetes Metab. 2005 Sep;31(4 Pt 1):361-9.

Gestational diabetes mellitus and the risk of metabolic syndrome: a population-based study in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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Service of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism, BH-19 CHUV 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.



To investigate the relationships between gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and the metabolic syndrome (MS), as it was suggested that insulin resistance was the hallmark of both conditions. To analyse post-partum screening in order to identify risk factors for the subsequent development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).


A retrospective analysis of all singleton pregnancies diagnosed with GDM at the Lausanne University Hospital for 3 consecutive years. Pre-pregnancy obesity, hypertension and dyslipidaemia were recorded as constituents of the MS.


For 5788 deliveries, 159 women (2.7%) with GDM were identified. Constituents of the MS were present before GDM pregnancy in 26% (n = 37/144): 84% (n = 31/37) were obese, 38% (n = 14/37) had hypertension and 22% (n = 8/37) had dyslipidaemia. Gestational hypertension was associated with obesity (OR = 3.2, P = 0.02) and dyslipidaemia (OR = 5.4, P=0.002). Seventy-four women (47%) returned for post-partum OGTT, which was abnormal in 20 women (27%): 11% (n = 8) had type 2 diabetes and 16% (n = 12) had impaired glucose tolerance. Independent predictors of abnormal glucose tolerance in the post-partum were: having > 2 abnormal values on the diagnostic OGTT during pregnancy and presenting MS constituents (OR = 5.2, CI 1.8-23.2 and OR = 5.3, CI 1.3-22.2).


In one fourth of GDM pregnancies, metabolic abnormalities precede the appearance of glucose intolerance. These women have a high risk of developing the MS and type 2 diabetes in later years. Where GDM screening is not universal, practitioners should be aware of those metabolic risks in every pregnant woman presenting with obesity, hypertension or dyslipidaemia, in order to achieve better diagnosis and especially better post-partum follow-up and treatment.

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