A clinical update on Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Arianne Sweeting, Jencia Wong, Helen R Murphy, Glynis P Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Citations (Scopus)


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) traditionally refers to abnormal glucose tolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy. GDM has long been associated with obstetric and neonatal complications primarily relating to higher infant birthweight and is increasingly recognized as a risk factor for future maternal and offspring cardiometabolic disease. The prevalence of GDM continues to rise internationally due to epidemiological factors including the increase in background rates of obesity in women of reproductive age and rising maternal age and the implementation of the revised International Association of the Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups' criteria and diagnostic procedures for GDM. The current lack of international consensus for the diagnosis of GDM reflects its complex historical evolution and pragmatic antenatal resource considerations given GDM is now 1 of the most common complications of pregnancy. Regardless, the contemporary clinical approach to GDM should be informed not only by its short-term complications but also by its longer term prognosis. Recent data demonstrate the effect of early in utero exposure to maternal hyperglycemia, with evidence for fetal overgrowth present prior to the traditional diagnosis of GDM from 24 weeks' gestation, as well as the durable adverse impact of maternal hyperglycemia on child and adolescent metabolism. The major contribution of GDM to the global epidemic of intergenerational cardiometabolic disease highlights the importance of identifying GDM as an early risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, broadening the prevailing clinical approach to address longer term maternal and offspring complications following a diagnosis of GDM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-793
Number of pages31
JournalEndocrine reviews
Issue number5
Early online date18 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2022


  • Biomarkers
  • Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
  • Diabetes Prevention
  • Diagnosis
  • Glucose analysis
  • Hyperglycemia in Pregnancy
  • Outcomes
  • Incidence
  • Pathophysiology
  • Genetics
  • Risk factors
  • Prevalence
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Precision Medicine
  • Management
  • Early Gestational Diabetes Mellitus


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