A person can get gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) with or without the risk factors below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your chances of getting it. Women with many risk factors should ask their doctor what they can do to lower the risk.
Risk factors for GDM:
Women who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk of GDM. Body mass index is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. Women with a higher BMI are at greater risk.
Women who have family members with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk.
Women who have had GDM in a prior pregnancy are at risk of getting it again.
Being older than 35 years may increase the risk of GDM.
GDM is more common in women who are:
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Practice Bulletins—Obstetrics. Practice Bulletin No. 190: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Feb;131(2):e49-e64.
Gestational diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/gestational-diabetes. Accessed January 14, 2020.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/gestational-diabetes-mellitus-gdm. Updated December 18, 2019. Accessed January 14, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2019 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG
Last Updated: 11/18/2020