Diabetes among women

DIVINE NSW: Preventing Type 2 Diabetes among women who experience gestational diabetes


  • Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), once thought to be fully reversed after pregnancy, is now a firmly established independent risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.
  • Given the high levels of risk, low-cost and scalable pharmacological preventive approaches may prove an effective tool for prevention of GDM.
  • While there is strong rationale for preventive strategies focused on behavioural modification in women with prior GDM, the early years after pregnancy present unique challenges to mothers.


This study will:

  • Measure prevalence and identify predictors of persisting abnormal blood sugar levels (dysglycaemia) among women with recent GDM.
  • Identify women’s views and the views of their healthcare providers on the long-term risks of T2DM.
  • Examine the feasibility of a randomised controlled trial of preventive drug therapies, in addition to lifestyle interventions, among this population.


  • One thousand women diagnosed with GDM from three Sydney Hospitals in the past four years will be identified and invited to participate.

Potential Impact

  • Given the uncertainty of engagement with lifestyle interventions at this time of a mother’s life, DIVINE will add to understanding the viability of pharmacological approaches to prevent T2DM among this unique population.

Fast Facts

  • In 2020–21, around 1 in every 6 women (49,000 women) who gave birth in hospital were diagnosed with GDM.1
  • The incidence rate for GDM increases with age, peaking at 31% for females aged 45-49.2
  • The risk of T2DM in women with previous GDM is as high as 10-fold when compared to those without GDM.3


1, 2 Diabetes: Australian facts, Gestational diabetes - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (aihw.gov.au), accessed February 2023.

3. Vounzoulaki et al. Progression to type 2 diabetes in women with a known history of gestational diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis (bmj.com)BMJ 2020;369:m1361