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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 721653, 10 pages
Review Article

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Positive Predictor of Type 2 Diabetes?

1The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, RBWH Campus, Herston, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Universidad de Los Andes, San Carlos de Apoquindo 2200, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile

Received 30 December 2011; Accepted 8 March 2012

Academic Editor: Alexandra Kautzky-Willer

Copyright © 2012 Gregory E. Rice et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this paper is to consider the relative benefits of screening for type two diabetes mellitus in women with a previous pregnancy complicated by gestational diabetes mellitus. Recent studies suggest that women who experience GDM are at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 10–20 years of their index pregnancy. If considered as a stand-alone indicator of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, GDM is a poor diagnostic test. Most women do not develop GDM during pregnancy and of those that do most do not develop type 2 diabetes. There is, however, a clear need for better early detection of predisposition to disease and/or disease onset to significantly impact on this global pandemic. The putative benefits of multivariate approaches and first trimester and preconception screening to increase the sensitivity of risk assignment modalities for type 2 diabetes are proposed.