The association between a history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) and subsequent type 2 diabetes (referred to throughout as diabetes) remains inconclusive. We reviewed the most recent evidence to quantify the association of previous HDP with incident diabetes.A systematic search of MEDLINE, Embase and CINAHL was performed up to 17 February 2020 to identify observational studies of the association between HDP (pre-eclampsia or gestational hypertension) and incident diabetes. Studies of women with pre-pregnancy diabetes were excluded. Two independent reviewers screened citations and abstracted results. Study quality was assessed in duplicate using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Random-effects models were used to pool effect estimates. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I2 statistic.After screening 4617 citations, 16 cohort studies with a total of 3,095,457 participants were included (unspecified HDP n = 5, pre-eclampsia only n = 4, gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia n = 7). Risks of subsequent diabetes were significantly higher in women with a history of any HDP (HDP: adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 2.24, 95% CI 1.95, 2.58; gestational hypertension: aHR 2.19 [95% CI 1.69, 2.84]; pre-eclampsia: aHR 2.56 [95% CI 2.02, 3.24]; preterm pre-eclampsia: aHR 3.05 [95% CI 2.05, 4.56]). The association between HDP and diabetes persisted in studies that adjusted for gestational diabetes mellitus (aHR 2.01 [95% CI 1.77, 2.28]).HDP are independently associated with a higher risk of diabetes. Further study is needed to determine how HDP contribute to diabetes risk prediction to develop evidence-based screening and prevention strategies. Graphical abstract.