Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition of glucose intolerance diagnosed during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Over recent decades, the demography of pregnant women has changed, and women with a history of GDM are found to be at a higher risk of progression to type-2 diabetes. The objective of this research is to compare the progression rates to type-2 diabetes in women with GDM and healthy controls.

This meta-analysis study and systematic review include an investigation about the progression to type-2 diabetes in women with a history of gestational diabetes. The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 20 studies, including 1,332,373 women (67,958 with GDM and 1,264,417 with normal controls). The data were pooled by random-effects meta-analysis models and assessed by the use of the I-square statistic.

The researchers found that the overall relative risk of type-2 diabetes was almost ten times higher in women with GDM than in healthy controls. In women with previous GDM, the cumulative incidence of type-2 diabetes was 16.46%.

The research concluded that women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus were at ten times higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes than those with normoglycaemic pregnancy. Therefore, it is essential to prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes in women with GDM in the early years after pregnancy.