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Diabetes in Women After Gestational Diabetes: A Missed Opportunity for Prevention

  • Ellen W. Seely
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Ellen W. Seely, MD, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 221 Longwood Avenue, Boston MA 02115.
    Affiliations
    Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Natalie D. Ritchie
    Affiliations
    Office of Research, Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Denver, Colorado

    Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado

    College of Nursing, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado
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  • Jacinda M. Nicklas
    Affiliations
    Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado
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  • Sue E. Levkoff
    Affiliations
    College of Social Work, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

    Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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Published:September 27, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2022.08.009
      Women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D). On average, one third of women develop T2D within 15 years of their GDM pregnancy.
      • Dennison RA
      • Chen ES
      • Green ME
      • et al.
      The absolute and relative risk of type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 129 studies.
      In a recent analysis, the rate of GDM in U.S. pregnancies was more than 6% and was noted to be increasing by close to 4% per year from 2011 to 2019.
      • Shah NS
      • Wang MC
      • Freaney PM
      • et al.
      Trends in gestational diabetes at first live birth by race and ethnicity in the U.S., 2011–2019.
      The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has further exacerbated concerns about the rising global prevalence of GDM because more women appear to be developing this condition because of factors such as increased sedentary behavior, weight gain, and stress during the pandemic.
      • Zanardo V
      • Tortora D
      • Sandri A
      • Severino L
      • Mesirca P
      • Straface G.
      COVID-19 pandemic: impact on gestational diabetes mellitus prevalence.
      This leaves a more urgent need for strategies to prevent the onset of T2D.
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