Risk factors

The following factors increase a woman’s risk of developing gestational diabetes:

  • Ethnicity: Asian, Indian subcontinent, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Pacific Islander, Maori, Middle Eastern, non-white African
  • Pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) >30 kg/m²
  • Previous hyperglycaemia in pregnancy
  • Previous elevated blood glucose level
  • Maternal age ≥40 years
  • Family history of diabetes mellitus (close relative with diabetes or a sister with hyperglycaemia in pregnancy)
  • Previous macrosomia (baby with birth weight >4500g or >90th percentile)
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Medications: corticosteroids, antipsychotics (Nankervis et al. 2014).


Nankervis A, Mclntyre HD, Moses R, Ross G, Callaway L, Porter C et al. 2014. ADIPS consensus guidelines for the testing and diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus in Australia. Sydney: Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society.