Increased risk for overweight among Swedish children born to mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus.Pediatr Diabetes. 2014 Feb; 15(1):57-66.PD
Investigate the effects of maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) on height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) in offspring compared both to their siblings and to age-specific BMI reference values in Sweden. Their parents present BMI was also investigated.
The growth of 232 offspring to 110 women with at least one pregnancy with GDM, were studied up to 12 yr of age. Height and weight of children were collected from Health Care Centres and compared to age-specific reference values in Sweden. Self-reported height and weight of the parents were collected at follow-up.
For boys, weight was higher at birth and at 8-10 yr of age, giving a higher BMI at 7-10 yr of age. Girls had an accelerated height growth at all ages, combined with an increased weight of varying degree resulting in higher BMI at birth and at 4-12 yr of age. A similar pattern was observed in siblings born after a normal pregnancy. Median BMI of mothers at follow-up was 25.4 (18.3-59.5 n = 105) and 26.5 (18.6-38.1 n = 90) for fathers.
Children born to mothers with prior GDM have a higher risk of overweight and obesity later in life. This is most likely due to life style habits rather than intrauterine factors, as the same BMI pattern was found in siblings born after a normal pregnancy. However, the design of the study could not rule out the role of genetic factors. Priority should be given to early life style intervention in these families.