The prevalence of diabetes is increasing globally and the causes attributed are the ageing population, urbanization, obesity epidemic, physical inactivity and stressful modern life. While all these factors contribute to the epidemic of DM, intra-uterine exposures and gestational programming are emerging as potential risk factors. Gestational programming is a process whereby stimuli or stresses that occur at critical or sensitive periods of foetal development, permanently change structure, physiology, and metabolism, which predispose individuals to disease in adult life. If the stimulus happens to be glucose intolerance in pregnancy, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) manifests. Diagnosis of GDM in a woman predisposes her and her offspring for increased risk of developing glucose intolerance and obesity in the future. GDM may play a crucial role in the increasing prevalence of diabetes and obesity and hence has become a public health priority issue. There has to be an excellent coordination and cooperation between all the stake holders of health delivery care system. A great understanding of the importance of GDM and its consequences by the Government and public will go a long way in containing the epidemic of diabetes. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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