Diabetes Care 2014 Nov 22;37(11):2996-3002. Epub 2014 Aug 22.
Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, CA.
Objective: To investigate associations between maternal pregnancy hyperglycemia, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), and offspring adiposity.
Research Design And Methods: We evaluated these associations in a longitudinal study of 421 mother-daughter pairs at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Maternal pregnancy glucose values were obtained from maternal medical records. Outcomes included three measures of girls' adiposity, measured annually: (1) ≥85th age-specific percentile for BMI; (2) percent body fat (%BF); and (3) waist-to-height ratio (WHR).
Results: Adjusting for maternal age at delivery, race/ethnicity, pregravid BMI, girl's age, and girl's age at onset of puberty, having a mother with GDM increased a girl's risk of having a BMI ≥85th percentile or having %BF or WHR in the highest quartile (Q4), compared with those in the lowest quintile of blood glucose (odds ratio [OR] 3.56 [95% CI 1.28-9.92]; OR 3.13 [95% CI 1.08-9.09]; and OR 2.80 [95% CI 1.00-7.84], respectively). There was a significant interaction between the presence of GDM and pregravid BMI; girls whose mothers had both risk factors had the highest odds of having a BMI ≥85th percentile (OR 5.56 [95%CI 1.70-18.2]; Q4 %BF, OR 6.04 [95% CI 1.76-20.7]; and Q4 WHR, OR 3.60 [95% CI 1.35-9.58]). Similar, although weaker, associations were found in the association between hyperglycemia and offspring adiposity.
Conclusions: Girls who were exposed to maternal GDM or hyperglycemia in utero are at higher risk of childhood adiposity; risk increases if the mother is overweight or obese. Screening and intervention for this high-risk group is warranted to slow the intergenerational transmission of obesity and its sequelae.