Gestational diabetes in mothers may predict obesity in daughters

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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