Mother's gestational diabetes linked to daughters being overweight later

October 23, 2014, Kaiser Permanente

Women who developed gestational diabetes and were overweight before pregnancy were at a higher risk of having daughters who were obese later in childhood, according to new research published today in Diabetes Care.

Based on long-term research that included a multi-ethnic cohort of 421 and their mothers (all members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California), the study is among the first to directly link maternal hyperglycemia () to offspring being overweight later.

"Glucose levels during pregnancy, particularly , were associated with the girls being overweight, and this association was much stronger if the mother was also overweight before pregnancy," said Ai Kubo, PhD, the study's lead author and an epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.

The girls were part of the Cohort study of Young Girls' Nutrition, Environment, and Transitions (CYGNET), part of a National Institutes of Health-funded consortium examining early determinants of puberty.

"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," said Lawrence H. Kushi, ScD, a study co-author and CYGNET Study principal investigator at the Division of Research.

The girls were followed from 2005 to 2011, with annual clinic visits to measure each girl's height, weight, body fat, abdominal obesity, and other parameters. Pregnant women in the Kaiser Permanente system take glucose tolerance tests during gestational weeks 24 to 28. Kaiser Permanente's comprehensive electronic medical records allowed researchers to link data collected on the girls to information about their mothers.

Twenty-seven mothers in the study had gestational diabetes. If a girl's mother had gestational diabetes, her risk of having a at or above the 85th percentile was 3.5 times higher than that of girls whose mothers did not have gestational diabetes. This association was independent of other important factors that influence girl's obesity, such as race/ethnicity, maternal obesity, and girl's pubertal stage.

Furthermore, the study found that if the girl's mother was also overweight and had gestational diabetes, her subsequent risk of being was about 5.5 times higher. Similar associations were observed for a girl's increased body fat and likelihood of having .

Kubo said the study suggests that behavior modifications in women to reduce weight gain and improve lifestyle before and during pregnancy may also help reduce the risk of obesity in their offspring.

Explore further: Pre-pregnancy hormone testing may indicate gestational diabetes risk

Related Stories

Pre-pregnancy hormone testing may indicate gestational diabetes risk

August 29, 2013
Overweight women with low levels of the hormone adiponectin prior to pregnancy are nearly seven times more likely to develop gestational diabetes, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the journal Diabetes ...

Elevated liver enzyme levels linked to higher gestational diabetes risk

May 2, 2014
Women with high levels of a common liver enzyme measured prior to pregnancy were twice as likely to subsequently develop gestational diabetes than those with the lowest levels, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published ...

Healthy lifestyle could prevent nearly half of all diabetic pregnancies

September 30, 2014
Nearly half of all cases of diabetes during pregnancy, known as gestational diabetes, could be prevented if young women eat well, exercise regularly and stop smoking before and during pregnancy, finds a study published in ...

Overweight and obese women more likely to have large babies

August 14, 2012
Among pregnant women who did not develop gestational diabetes, overweight women were 65 percent more likely, and obese women 163 percent more likely, to have overly large babies than their healthy weight counterparts. In ...

Obesity among risk factors for delayed lactation in women with gestational diabetes

November 11, 2013
Pre-pregnancy obesity and older maternal age are among the risk factors for delayed lactation for women with gestational diabetes mellitus, according to a Kaiser Permanente study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Women who gain too much or too little weight during pregnancy at risk for having an overweight child

April 14, 2014
Gaining both too much or too little weight during pregnancy appears to increase the risk of having an overweight or obese child, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the American Journal of Obstetrics ...

Recommended for you

Healthy fat cells uncouple obesity from diabetes

August 14, 2018
About 422 million people around the world, including more than 30 million Americans, have diabetes. Approximately ninety percent of them have type 2 diabetes. People with this condition cannot effectively use insulin, a hormone ...

'Alarming' diabetes epidemic in Guatemala tied to aging, not obesity

August 14, 2018
The diabetes epidemic in Guatemala is worse than previously thought: more than 25 percent of its indigenous people, who make up 60 percent of the population, suffer from type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, suggests a new study ...

Gut reaction linked to type 1 diabetes

August 13, 2018
Understanding the link between diabetes and the gut could lead to the development of new therapies to delay the onset of type 1 diabetes, according to University of Queensland researchers.

Early age of type 1 diabetes diagnosis linked to shorter life expectancy, compared to later diagnosis

August 10, 2018
Life-expectancy for individuals with younger-onset disease is on average 16 years shorter compared to people without diabetes, and 10 years shorter for those diagnosed at an older age

Red blood cells cause cardiovascular injury in type 2 diabetes

August 7, 2018
Harmful effects of substances secreted from red blood cells could explain the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases in patients with type 2 diabetes, the results of two new studies conducted at Karolinska Institutet in ...

Diabetes in bay area Chinese population linked to fat fibrosis

August 6, 2018
A new UC San Francisco study has discovered a key biological difference in how people of European and Chinese descent put on weight—a finding that could help explain why Asians often develop type 2 diabetes at a much lower ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.