What are risk factors for the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)?

Updated: Apr 29, 2020
  • Author: Thomas R Moore, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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A nested case-control study indicated that another risk factor for the development of gestational diabetes is the presence of hypertension before pregnancy or during early pregnancy. [54] The report, which looked at 381 women with hypertension or prehypertension (the latter being defined in the study as 120-139/80-89 mmHg), as well as at 942 control subjects, found that prehypertension before or during early pregnancy was associated with a slightly increased risk of gestational diabetes, but hypertension was associated with a twofold increase in risk.

High cholesterol and egg intake prior to and during pregnancy increase the risk of gestational diabetes. [55]

In addition, a study by Li et al indicated that early age at menarche (age 9-11 years) is an independent predictor for gestational diabetes mellitus. [56]

A study by Kim et al indicated that women who, prior to pregnancy, have increased fasting plasma glucose (FPG) variability are at greater risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Regarding FPG variability independent of the mean (FPG-VIM), women in the highest quartile had a 48% greater risk for GDM requiring insulin therapy, compared with those in the lowest quartile, while the risk for GDM not requiring insulin therapy was 19% greater in females in the highest quartile. In addition, a stronger association between high FPG variability and GDM risk was seen in women with obesity and those aged over 35 years. [57]

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