HealthDay News — Untreated gestational diabetes (GD) is associated with development of subsequent glucose metabolism disorders in mothers, but is not significantly associated with the composite outcome of childhood overweight/obesity in long-term follow-up of offspring, according to a study published in the Sept. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

William L. Lowe Jr., MD, from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues used data from the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Study to assess associations between maternal glucose levels during pregnancy, perinatal outcomes, and long-term outcomes (10 to 14 years’ postpartum) among 4697 mothers and 4832 children.

The researchers found that 14.3% of all mothers met criteria for GD. More than half of mothers with GD (52.2%) developed a disorder of glucose metabolism during long-term follow-up after pregnancy, compared to 20.1 % of mothers without GD (odds ratio, 3.44). At long-term follow-up, 39.5% of children of mothers with GD were overweight or obese and 19.1% were obese, compared to 28.6 and 9.9%, respectively, for children of mothers without GD. When controlling for maternal body mass index during pregnancy, the odds ratio was 1.21 (95% confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.46) for children who were overweight or obese and 1.58 (95% confidence interval, 1.24 to 2.01) for children who were obese. For body fat percentage, the odds ratio was 1.35; the odds ratios were 1.34 for waist circumference and 1.57 for sum of skinfolds.

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Gestational diabetes defined by criteria that identify a larger group of women was associated with a maternal disorder of glucose metabolism,” the authors write.

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One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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