Long-Term Follow-Up on Morbidity Among Women With a History of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review

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Background Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) complicates up to 10% of pregnancies and is a well-known risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease. Little is known about possible long-term risks of other diseases. Background The aim was to review the literature for evidence of associations with morbidity other than T2DM and cardiovascular disease and with long-term mortality. Methods A systematic review based on searches in Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Library until March 31, 2021, using a broad range of keywords. We extracted study characteristics and results on associations between GDM and disease occurrence at least 10 years postpartum, excluding studies on women with diabetes prior to pregnancy or only diabetes prior to outcome. The results are reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used to assess risk of bias. Results We screened 3084 titles, 81 articles were assessed full-text, and 15 included in the review. The strongest evidence for an association was for kidney diseases, particularly in Black women. We found indication of an association with liver disease, possibly restricted to women with T2DM postpartum. The association between GDM and breast cancer had been studied extensively, but in most cases based on self-reported diagnosis and with conflicting results. Only sparse and inconsistent results were found for other cancers. No study on thyroid diseases was found, and no study reported on short-term or long-term mortality in women with a history of GDM. Conclusion Given the frequency of GDM, there is a need for better evidence on possible long-term health consequences, in particular, studies based on comprehensive records of diagnosis of GDM and long-term health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Pages (from-to)2411–2423
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Research areas

  • gestational diabetes, morbidity, cancer, long-term risk, cardiovascular disease, ARTERY RISK DEVELOPMENT, BREAST-CANCER, HEART-FAILURE, POPULATION, ASSOCIATION, PREVALENCE, SUBSEQUENT, MORTALITY, DISEASE

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