The Pathophysiology of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Jasmine Plows, Joanna Stanley, Philip Baker, Clare Reynolds, Mark Vickers
2018 International Journal of Molecular Sciences  
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a serious pregnancy complication, in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes develop chronic hyperglycemia during gestation. In most cases, this hyperglycemia is the result of impaired glucose tolerance due to pancreatic β-cell dysfunction on a background of chronic insulin resistance. Risk factors for GDM include overweight and obesity, advanced maternal age, and a family history or any form of diabetes. Consequences of GDM include increased
more » ... of maternal cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and macrosomia and birth complications in the infant. There is also a longer-term risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in the child. GDM affects approximately 16.5% of pregnancies worldwide, and this number is set to increase with the escalating obesity epidemic. While several management strategies exist—including insulin and lifestyle interventions—there is not yet a cure or an efficacious prevention strategy. One reason for this is that the molecular mechanisms underlying GDM are poorly defined. This review discusses what is known about the pathophysiology of GDM, and where there are gaps in the literature that warrant further exploration.
doi:10.3390/ijms19113342 fatcat:qadnh67mnfhktaeedjrwh42bpm