A new study entitled “Maternal Hyperglycemia During Pregnancy Predicts Adiposity of the Offspring” suggests women with gestational diabetes or obesity have an increased risk for obese offspring, according to a new study now published in Diabetes Care journal.
The authors investigated the association between hyperglycemia and gestational diabetes mellitus in pregnant women with offspring risk for overweight/obesity.
They analyzed a multi-ethnic group of 421 girls, and their mothers registered at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Pregnant women performed glucose tolerance tests between weeks 24 and 28. Daughter’s parameters were assessed annually in the clinic consults that extended for six years. The parameters measured included height, weight and body fat. Kaiser Permanente electronic medical allowed for cross-reference the data from daughter to mothers.
The researchers found that daughters from women with gestational diabetes mellitus, exhibited 3.5 times increased risks to develop a high body mass index when compared to those whose mothers did not have gestational diabetes. Additionally, the authors observed mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus who were also obese. Girls from women with both risk factors exhibited 5.5 times higher risks of being overweight.
Ai Kubo, PhD, the study first author and an epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California commented, “Glucose levels during pregnancy, particularly gestational diabetes, were associated with the girls being overweight, and this association was much stronger if the mother was also overweight before pregnancy.”
Part of National Institutes of Health-funded program, the girls were integrated in a cohort study — the Young Girls’ Nutrition, Environment, and Transitions (CYGNET) — that aims to understand the determinants of pubertal maturation in girls.
Lawrence H. Kushi, ScD, a study co-author and CYGNET Study principal investigator at the Division of Research noted, “This research builds on our long-term study of pubertal development in girls, which has been underway since the girls were between 6 and 8 years old.”
In sum, the authors suggest screening and weight control interventions in these risk groups of women are necessary to reduce the risk for obesity in their offspring.