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The Pathophysiology of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA
Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(11), 3342;
Received: 27 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 21 October 2018 / Published: 26 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Factors and Molecular Mechanisms of Gestational Diabetes)
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 risk 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: gestational diabetes; pregnancy; pathophysiology; physiology; pathology; molecular gestational diabetes; pregnancy; pathophysiology; physiology; pathology; molecular
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MDPI and ACS Style

Plows, J.F.; Stanley, J.L.; Baker, P.N.; Reynolds, C.M.; Vickers, M.H. The Pathophysiology of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 3342.

AMA Style

Plows JF, Stanley JL, Baker PN, Reynolds CM, Vickers MH. The Pathophysiology of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2018; 19(11):3342.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Plows, Jasmine F., Joanna L. Stanley, Philip N. Baker, Clare M. Reynolds, and Mark H. Vickers. 2018. "The Pathophysiology of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19, no. 11: 3342.

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