Birth weight and parental BMI predict overweight in children from mothers with gestational diabetes

Ute M Schaefer-Graf, Julia Pawliczak, Doerte Passow, Reinhard Hartmann, Rainer Rossi, Christoph Bührer, Thomas Harder, Andreas Plagemann, Klaus Vetter, Olga Kordonouri
Diabetes Care 2005, 28 (7): 1745-50

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the growth of children from pregnancies with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and its association with antenatal maternal, fetal, and recent anthropometric parameters of mother and father.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: In 324 pregnancies of Caucasian women with GDM, BMI before pregnancy, maternal glycemic values, and measurements of the fetal abdominal circumference were recorded. The weight and height of infants were measured at birth and at follow-up at 5.4 years (range 2.5-8.5). In addition, somatic data from routine examinations at 6, 12, and 24 months and the BMI of parents at follow-up were obtained. BMI standard deviation scores (SDSs) were calculated based on age-correspondent data.

RESULTS: At all time points, BMI was significantly above average (+0.82 SDS at birth; +0.56 at 6, +0.35 at 12, and +0.32 at 24 months; and +0.66 at follow-up; P < 0.001). BMI at birth was related to BMI at follow-up (r = 0.27, P < 0.001). The rate of overweight at follow-up was 37% in children with birth BMI > or =90th percentile and 25% in those with normal BMI at birth (P < 0.05). Abdominal circumference of third trimester and postprandial glucose values were related to BMI at follow-up (r = 0.22 and r = 0.18, P < 0.01). Recent maternal, paternal, and birth BMI were independent predictors of BMI at follow-up (r = 0.42, P < 0.001). Sixty-nine percent of children of parents with BMI > or =30 kg/m(2) were overweight at follow-up compared with 20% of those with parental BMI <30 kg/m(2) (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Children of mothers with GDM have a high rate of overweight that is associated both with intrauterine growth and parental obesity.

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