Preventing progression from gestational diabetes mellitus to diabetes: A thought-filled review

Michal Kasher-Meron*, Martin M. Grajower

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Women with a history of gestational diabetes are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. In studies with long periods of follow-up, diabetes incidence of up to 70% has been reported. The appropriate follow-up of women following a pregnancy complicated by gestational diabetes has not been studied. Published guidelines recommend that obstetrician/gynaecologists, who are often the de facto primary care physicians for these otherwise healthy young women, incorporate glucose monitoring in the post-partum period into their annual examinations. In reality, reported rates of screening have been low. There is also no clear evidence for any beneficial interventions to prevent diabetes in patients with prior history of gestational diabetes. Lifestyle intervention programmes for diabetes prevention among these patients yielded disappointing results. Metformin, pioglitazone, liraglutide, and bariatric surgery are possible options but based on inadequate data. There remains a need for randomized, placebo-controlled studies to evaluate various pharmacologic treatments, with and without lifestyle interventions, to prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus in women with a history of gestational diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2909
JournalDiabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • diabetes prevention
  • gestational diabetes
  • liraglutide
  • metformin
  • pioglitazone


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