Women Who Deliver Large Babies Are at Risk of Diabetes Later

Their findings indicate that mothers who do not have diabetes but have a large-for-gestational-age infant are more likely to develop prediabetes or type 2 diabetes 10 to 14 years later.

The data came from an observational study that looked at glucose tolerance in a broad, multi-national, racially diverse cohort of pregnant women in their third trimester.


Among the 4,025 women who did not have gestational diabetes, 13% had an LGA baby, 8% had a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) baby, and 79% had an average-for-gestational-age (AGA) child.

Figures revealed that 20% of women were diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes 10 to 14 years after giving birth and that the prevalence of prediabetes or diabetes was higher among those who had an LGA birth (24.8%) compared to those who had an SGA birth (15.4%) or those who had an AGA birth (19.7%).

Even after researchers controlled for risk variables for developing type 2 diabetes, such as age, obesity, high blood pressure, and a family history of diabetes, the elevated risk of diabetes and prediabetes remained.

“So often in clinical practice when we see big babies and the individual does not have gestational diabetes, we do not talk about the health risks for the mother later in life,” study main author Doctor Kartik Venkatesh said.

Role of Pregnancy in Long-Term Health Outcomes

“But this research suggests there may also be health consequences for the pregnant person even without gestational diabetes when they have a larger than a normal sized infant.

“That’s why it’s so important to follow large groups of people and their babies, regardless of whether they had gestational diabetes or not, over a long period.”

Dr Venkatesh, of The Ohio State University in the US, added: “The real implication of this research is that we need to stop thinking of pregnancy care as episodic care by making these connections between pregnancy and long-term health outcomes in mothers and children to see the bigger picture.”

Source: Medindia

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