Glucose intolerance in pregnancy predicts an increased risk of future type 2 diabetes.
The aim of the study was to evaluate glucose metabolism in women with and without gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) at 5 years follow-up and identify risk factors associated with disturbed glucose metabolism post-partum.
This follow-up study included 300 consecutively enrolled women from a previous population-based cohort study. The participants underwent oral glucose tolerance test under pregnancy and in the follow-up study, in addition to dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in the follow-up study.
Fifty-two women (17.7%) were found to have GDM in pregnancy with an odds ratio of 4.8 developing prediabetes 5 years later. β-cell function, but not insulin resistance or sensitivity, was reduced in the follow-up study after adjusting for known risk factors. Furthermore, visceral fat content at follow-up was increased in GDM women compared to non-GDM women, and the β-cell function declined with increasing visceral fat in both groups but was more pronounced in the women with previous GDM.
Women with GDM are at increased risk of developing prediabetes and have a decreased β-cell function 5 years post-partum that is associated with increased visceral fat mass.