In previously apparently healthy women, glucose intolerance and high blood pressure during pregnancy are common and frequently occur together. This article reviews the role of these gestational disorders as markers of vascular dysfunction and its pathophysiology. Mechanisms include alterations to function of large arteries and resistance vessels and to capillary blood flow. Much of the vessel pathology is seen in both gestational diabetes and hypertension. In women who have had transient diabetes during pregnancy and later redeveloped overt diabetes, cardiovascular risk is already elevated nearly fourfold before diagnosis, which is almost as high as the average risk after a clinical diagnosis of diabetes is made. This key finding suggests that vascular risk in such women is at least partly independent of overt hyperglycemia.