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Beyond Pregnancy: Understanding the Long-Term Implications of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Esther Ugo Alum1*, Okechukwu P. C. Ugwu1 and Emmanuel Ifeanyi Obeagu2

1Department of Publications and Extension, Kampala International University, P. O. Box 20000, Uganda.

2Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Kampala International University, Uganda.

*Corresponding author: Esther Ugo Alum; Email: esther.alum@kiu.ac.ug

ORCID: 0000-0003-4105-8615.


The term “gestational diabetes mellitus,” or GDM for short, refers to a hyperglycemic state that is initially identified during pregnancy, usually in the second or third trimester. At the moment, it is the most typical pregnancy-related medical issue. Around 15% of pregnancies worldwide roughly 18 million newborns annually—are affected by GDM. Preterm delivery and high birth weights are two fetal complications. Pre-eclampsia, postpartum abnormal glucose intolerance, and gestational hypertension are risks associated with GDM. Furthermore, GDM mellitus raises the possibility of problems like heart disease, obesity, and impaired glucose metabolism, culminating in type 2 diabetes in both the mother and the child. More focus and knowledge are needed about the rising incidence of GDM, which carries a substantial financial cost. It becomes imperative to have an in-depth comprehension of the pathophysiology and risk factors, with a focus on the impact of GDM in the emergence of non-communicable diseases. Additionally, an efficient treatment plan may be necessary to lessen perinatal and metabolic problems. Diet and physical activity are the main therapy for GDM. To step up the treatment, metformin, glibenclamide, and insulin can be employed. Based on the literature, this study offers a summary of the most recent findings about the etiology, diagnosis, therapy, and epidemiology of GDM. The significance of a diagnosis of GDM is emphasized as a potential indicator of non-communicable disease (NCD) risk in the future. Additionally, the impact of proper GDM management during and after pregnancy on the risk of NCDs in the mother and her kids is highlighted. An electronic search was conducted using Google Scholar, PubMed, and Scopus. Included were published research from 2014 to 2023 that described the epidemiology, diagnosis, risk factors, and treatment of GDM.

Keywords: Gestational diabetes, Maternal health, Fetal health, Hyperglycemia, non-communicable disease, Long-term outcomes

CITE AS: Esther Ugo Alum, Okechukwu P. C. Ugwu and Emmanuel Ifeanyi Obeagu (2024). Beyond Pregnancy: Understanding the Long-Term Implications of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. INOSR Scientific Research 11(1): 63-71.https://doi.org/10.59298/INOSRSR/2024/1.1.16371