Child’s Adiposity Tied to Gestational Diabetes, Hyperglycemia In Utero

(HealthDay News) — Girls exposed to maternal gestational diabetes or hyperglycemia in utero have an elevated risk for childhood adiposity, particularly if the mother is overweight or obese, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Ai Kubo, MPH, PhD, from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif., and colleagues examined associations between maternal pregnancy hyperglycemia, gestational diabetes and offspring adiposity in a longitudinal study of 421 mother-daughter pairs at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. 

Girls’ adiposity outcomes included age-specific percentile for BMI; percent body fat; and waist-to-height ratio.

The researchers found that having a mother with gestational diabetes vs. the lowest quintile of blood glucose correlated with increased odds of a girl’s risk for having a BMI ≥85th percentile (OR=3.56; 95% CI, 1.28-9.92), or having percent body fat or waist-to-hip ratio in the highest quartile (Q4; ORs=3.13 [95% CI, 1.08-9.09] and 2.80 [95% CI, 1.00-7.84], respectively), after adjustment for confounding variables. 

Girls whose mothers had both gestational diabetes and high pregravid BMI had the highest odds of having a BMI ≥85th percentile (OR=5.56); Q4 percent body fat (OR=6.04); and Q4 waist-to-hip ratio (OR=3.60). 

The associations were similar, but weaker, for hyperglycemia and offspring adiposity.

“Screening and intervention for this high-risk group is warranted to slow the intergenerational transmission of obesity and its sequelae,” the researchers wrote.

The study was partially funded by the Avon Foundation.


  1. Kubo A et al. Diabetes Care. 2014;doi:10.2337/dc14-1438.