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Contempo Updates
November 28, 2001

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Sansum Medical Research Institute, Santa Barbara, Calif.


Contempo Updates Section Editors: Alice T. D. Hughes, MD, and Janet M. Torpy, MD, Fishbein Fellows.

JAMA. 2001;286(20):2516-2518. doi:10.1001/jama.286.20.2516

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is carbohydrate intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy.1,2 This diagnosis is independent of insulin use or persistence of the condition after the pregnancy and does not apply to pregnant women with previously diagnosed diabetes. Gestational diabetes has been recognized for decades,3 but the potential significance of the condition, as well as criteria for screening and diagnosis, remain controversial. While there is also controversy as to the optimal monitoring and treatment strategy, it is apparent that even mild degrees of maternal hyperglycemia may result in fetal developmental defects.4