Gestational Diabetes May Influence Daughter's Weight Later

Note: Study lead author Ai Kubo, MPH, PhD, is a current CTSI K Scholar.

By Robert Preidt via

Daughters of women who developed gestational diabetes while pregnant may be at increased risk for being obese later in childhood, a new study suggests.

The research included more than 400 girls in California who were followed from 2005 to 2011, with annual visits to check their height, weight, body fat and abdominal obesity. The girls were between 6 and 8 years old at the start of the study. The researchers also examined the medical records of the girls' mothers.

Twenty-seven mothers developed gestational diabetes, according to the researchers. Girls whose mothers had gestational diabetes were 3.5 times more likely to be overweight later in childhood than those whose mothers did not have gestational diabetes, according to the study.

Daughters were 5.5 times more likely to become overweight if their moms had gestational diabetes and were overweight before pregnancy, the study found. The daughters were also more likely to have higher amounts of body fat as well as abdominal obesity, according to the researchers. These associations were independent of other factors known to influence overweight/obesity in girls, including race/ethnicity, having an obese mother, and stage of puberty, the study noted.

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