Table of Contents
ISRN Endocrinology
Volume 2012, Article ID 341638, 7 pages
Clinical Study

The Influence of Ethnicity on the Development of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Women with Gestational Diabetes: A Prospective Study and Review of the Literature

1Diabetes and Transcription Factors Group, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
2Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
3Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Westmead Hospital, Weatmead, NSW 2145, Australia
4St Vincent’s Clinical School, University of NSW, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia

Received 20 January 2012; Accepted 15 February 2012

Academic Editors: C. Anderwald, B. Larijani, and A. Saxe

Copyright © 2012 Christian M. Girgis 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.


As the worldwide prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to rise at an alarming rate, the search for susceptible populations likely to benefit from preventative measures becomes more important. One such population is women with a previous history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). In this prospective study of 101 women who had GDM in Australia, ethnicity was a major risk factor for the development of diabetes following a diagnosis of GDM. With a mean followup of 5.5 years after GDM, South Asian women had a significantly higher risk of developing abnormal glucose tolerance (AGT) (69%) than women of all other ethnicities ( 𝑃 < 0 . 0 5 ). The prevalence of diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance was also very high amongst other groups: South East and East Asian (11/27, 41%), Middle-Eastern (8/18, 44%), South European backgrounds (5/12, 42%), and Australian-born women 39% (11/28). A review of the literature supports the role of ethnicity in the development of diabetes amongst these women. These findings have implications for South Asian countries and countries such as Australia where there is a population from diverse ethnic backgrounds and where the implementation of targeted measures to stem the growing tide of diabetes is needed.