Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AIM: To investigate the association of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) with premature mortality and cardiovascular (CVD) outcomes and risk factors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Parous women recruited to the UK Biobank cohort during 2006-2010 were followed up from their first delivery until 31 October 2021. The data were linked to Hospital Episode Statistics and mortality registries. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard models investigated associations of GDM with all-cause mortality, CVD, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia. RESULTS: The maximum total analysis time at risk and under observation was 9 694 090 person-years. Among 220 726 women, 1225 self-reported or had a recorded diagnosis of GDM. After adjusting for confounders and behavioural factors, GDM was associated with increased risk for premature mortality [hazard ratio (HR): 1.44, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.12-1.86], particularly CVD-related death (HR: 2.38, 95% CI: 1.63-3.48), as well as incident total CVD (HR: 1.50, 95% CI: 1.30-1.74), non-fatal CVD (HR: 1.41, 95% CI: 1.20-1.65), diabetes (HR: 14.37, 95% CI: 13.51-15.27), hypertension (HR: 1.49, 95% CI: 1.38-1.60), and dyslipidaemia (HR: 1.30, 95% CI: 1.22-1.39). The total CVD risk was greater in women with GDM who did not later develop diabetes than in those with GDM and diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: Women with GDM are at increased risk of premature death and have increased CV risk, emphasizing the importance of interventions to prevent GDM. If GDM develops, the diagnosis represents an opportunity for future surveillance and intervention to reduce CVD risk factors, prevent CVD and improve long-term health.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Obes Metab

Publication Date



cardiovascular disease, cohort study, diabetes complications, observational study