Gestational diabetes in mothers may predict obesity in daughters

November 6, 2014

In utero exposure to maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) or hyperglycemia may increase risk of childhood adiposity in girls, according to a new study.

 

In utero exposure to maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) or hyperglycemia may increase risk of childhood adiposity in girls, according to a new study in Diabetes Care. The findings suggest a need for screening and intervention to slow intergenerational transmission of obesity.

In the longitudinal study, data from 421 mother-daughter pairs from Kaiser Permanente Northern California were evaluated. Maternal glucose levels were obtained from maternal medical records. Outcomes assessed included 3 different measures of the girls’ adiposity: ≥85th age-specific percentile for body mass index (BMI), percent body fat, and waist-to-height ratio.

After adjustment for maternal age at delivery, race/ethnicity, pregravid BMI, the age of the daughter, and the daughter’s age at puberty onset, having a mother who had GDM increased a girl’s risk of having a BMI ≥85th percentile or having percent body fat or waist-to-height in the highest quartile (Q4), when compared with those in the lowest quintile of blood glucose (odds ratio [OR] 3.56 [95% confidence interval {CI} 1.28–9.92]; OR 3.13 [95% CI 1.08–9.09]; and OR 2.80 [95% CI 1.00–7.84], respectively).

Legally speaking: Undignosed infection - or prematurity?

Significant interaction was found between GDM and pregravid BMI and girls whose mother had both risk factors had the highest odds of having a BMI ≥85th percentile (OR 5.56 [95%CI 1.70–18.2]; Q4 percent body fat, OR 6.04 [95%CI 1.76–20.7]; and Q4 waist-to-height ratio, OR 3.60 [95%CI 1.35–9.58]). A weaker association was found between hyperglycemia and the level of adiposity in offspring.

 

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