Recurrence of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

A systematic review

  1. Catherine Kim, MD, MPH1,
  2. Diana K. Berger, MD, MSC2 and
  3. Shadi Chamany, MD, MPH3
  1. 1Departments of Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. 2Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York
  3. 3Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Catherine Kim, MD, MPH, 300 NIB, Room 7C13, Box 0429, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. E-mail: cathkim{at}


OBJECTIVE—The purpose of this study was to examine rates and factors associated with recurrence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) among women with a history of GDM.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We conducted a systematic literature review of articles published between January 1965 and November 2006, in which recurrence rates of GDM among women with a history of GDM were reported. Factors abstracted included recurrence rates, time elapsed between pregnancies, race/ethnicity, diagnostic criteria, and, when available, maternal age, parity, weight or BMI at the initial and subsequent pregnancy, weight gain at the initial or subsequent pregnancy and between pregnancies, insulin use, gestational age at diagnosis, glucose tolerance test levels, baby birth weight and presence of macrosomia, and breast-feeding.

RESULTS—Of 45 articles identified, 13 studies were eligible for inclusion. After the index pregnancy, recurrence rates varied between 30 and 84%. Lower rates were found in non-Hispanic white (NHW) populations (30–37%), and higher rates were found in minority populations (52–69%). Exceptions to observed racial/ethnic variations in recurrence were found in cohorts that were composed of a significant proportion of both NHW and minority women or that included women who had subsequent pregnancies within 1 year. No other risk factors were consistently associated with recurrence of GDM across studies. The rates of future preexisting diabetes in pregnancy, socioeconomic status, postpartum diabetes screening rates after the index pregnancy, and the average length of time between pregnancies were generally not reported.

CONCLUSIONS—Recurrence of GDM was common and may vary most significantly by NHW versus minority race/ethnicity.


  • Published ahead of print at on 8 February 2007. DOI: 10.2337/dc06-2517.

    A table elsewhere in this issue shows conventional and Système International (SI) units and conversion factors for many substances.

    • Accepted January 26, 2007.
    • Received December 12, 2006.
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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 30 no. 5 1314-1319
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