HealthDay News – The risk of childhood adiposity is greater in girls exposed to maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) or hyperglycemia in utero, particularly if the mother is overweight or obese, according to research published in Diabetes Care.

To examine the associations between maternal pregnancy hyperglycemia, GDM, and offspring adiposity, Ai Kubo, MPH, PhD, of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif., and colleagues conducted a longitudinal study involving 421 mother-daughter pairs. Girls’ adiposity outcomes included age-specific percentile for body mass index, percent body fat, and waist-to-height ratio.

Having a mother with GDM versus the lowest quintile of blood glucose correlated with increased odds of a girl’s risk of having a BMI  ≥85th percentile (odds ratio, 3.56; 95% CI: 1.28-9.92), or having percent body fat or waist-to-height 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.

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Girls whose mothers had both GDM and high pregravid BMI had the highest odds of having a BMI ≥85th percentile (OR, 5.56); Q4 percent BF (OR, 6.04); and Q4 WHR (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,” wrote the researchers.


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

Disclosures: The study was partially funded by the Avon Foundation.