Gestational Diabetes in Mothers Increases Diabetes Risk in Children

Children of mothers who had gestational diabetes during their pregnancy are at increased risk of developing diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).


The study looked at more than 73,000 mothers, comparing single births in mothers with gestational diabetes to those without the condition. The number of new cases of diabetes per 10,000 person-years was 4.5 in children of mothers with gestational diabetes and 2.4 in children of mothers without, with children whose mother had the condition nearly twice as likely to develop diabetes before age 22.

“This link of diabetes in children and youth with gestational diabetes in the mother has the potential to stimulate clinicians, parents, and children and youth themselves to consider the possibility of diabetes if offspring of a mother with gestational diabetes mellitus develop signs and symptoms such as frequent urination, abnormal thirst, weight loss or fatigue,” noted study author Kaberi Dasgupta, MD MSc FRCPC, from the Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

Want to learn more about gestational diabetes? Read “Preventing Gestational Diabetes” and “Gestational Diabetes: Once You’re Diagnosed.”

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