Study Links High Sugar in Pregnancy to Childhood Obesity

On 28/May/2019 / In Articles

Children born by women with high glucose blood levels during pregnancy, are at an increased risk of developing obesity in childhood, according to a new study stated. The researchers said such children were at risk even if their mothers were not diagnosed with gestational diabetes. 
The study was co-authored by Samantha Ehrlich, professor of public health at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and fellow researchers at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. The scientists analysed the data of more than 40,000 pregnant women who delivered babies between 1995 and 2004 in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health care system. They also considered the data of the children, whom they followed until 5 to 7 years of age. 
In the United States, pregnant women get a blood glucose screening test between weeks 24 and 28. If the test shows elevated blood glucose levels, an additional test is then done to determine whether the woman has gestational diabetes mellitus, or GDM. However, the researchers found that once elevated levels of blood glucose are found on the screening test, even if the blood glucose is not elevated enough for a diagnosis of gestational diabetes, the children are at higher risk of developing obesity between 5 to 7 years of age. 
In this scenario, the risk increases by 13 percent when compared to women with normal blood glucose levels on the screening test. Ehrlich said, if the woman is indeed diagnosed with gestational diabetes, the risk of the child developing obesity increases by 52 percent.

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