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Endocrine

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 481–494 | Cite as

Postpartum glucose intolerance: an updated overview

  • Ida Pastore
  • Eusebio Chiefari
  • Raffaella Vero
  • Antonio BrunettiEmail author
Review

Abstract

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus has increased worldwide over the past three decades, as a consequence of the more westernized lifestyle, which is responsible for the increasing obesity rate in the modern adult’s life. Concomitant with this increase there has been a gradual rise in the overall prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus, a condition that strongly predisposes to overt diabetes later in life. Many women with previous gestational diabetes mellitus show glucose intolerance in the early postpartum period. Although the best screening strategy for postpartum glucose intolerance is still debated, numerous evidences indicate that identification of these women at this time is of critical importance, as efforts to initiate early intensive lifestyle modification, including hypocaloric diet and physical activity, and to ameliorate the metabolic profile of these high-risk subjects can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nevertheless, less than one fifth of women attend the scheduled postpartum screening following gestational diabetes mellitus and they are at increased risk to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus later in their lives. Unsatisfying results have also come from early intervention strategies and tools that have been developed during the last few years to help improving the rate of adherence to postpartum glycemic testing, thereby indicating that more effective strategies are needed to improve women’s participation in postpartum screening.

Keywords

Type 2 diabetes mellitus Gestational diabetes mellitus Glucose intolerance Prediabetes Postpartum screening 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health SciencesUniversity “Magna Græcia” of CatanzaroCatanzaroItaly
  2. 2.Complex Operative Structure Endocrinology-DiabetologyHospital Pugliese-CiaccioCatanzaroItaly

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