Gestational diabetes risk factors and long-term consequences for both mother and offspring: a literature review

Salar Farahvar, Asnat Walfisch, Eyal Sheiner

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    130 Scopus citations


    Introduction: Established risk factors for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) include ethnicity, obesity, and family history of diabetes. Untreated GDM patients have higher rates of maternal and perinatal morbidity. GDM is an independent risk factor for future longer-term risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular morbidity, malignancies, ophthalmic, psychiatric, and renal disease in the mother. Offspring risk long-term adverse health outcomes, including T2DM, subsequent obesity, impacted neurodevelopmental outcome, increased neuropsychiatric morbidity, and ophthalmic disease. Areas covered: We critically review data from retrospective, prospective, and meta-analysis studies pertaining to established GDM risk factors, complications during pregnancy and birth (both mother and offspring), and long-term consequences (both mother and offspring). Expert commentary: Many of the adverse consequences of GDM might be avoided with proper management and treatment. Patients belonging to high-risk ethnic groups, and/or with body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m 2 , and/or known history of diabetes in first-degree relatives may benefit from universal screening and diagnostic criteria proposed by the International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Group (IADPSG). The IADPSG one-step method has several advantages, including simplicity of execution, greater patient-friendliness, and higher diagnostic accuracy. Additionally, evidence suggests that the recent increased popularity of bariatric surgery will help to decrease GDM rates over next 5 years. Similarly, metformin may be useful for treating and preventing obstetrical complications in confirmed GDM patients.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)63-74
    Number of pages12
    JournalExpert Review of Endocrinology and Metabolism
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 2 Jan 2019


    • Gestational diabetes mellitus
    • bariatric surgery
    • maternal complications
    • metformin
    • offspring complications
    • risk factors
    • screening

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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