Obesity during pregnancy is associated with a 3.5-times increased future risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in the child, concludes new research published in Diabetologia. If the pregnant woman is overweight rather than obese, the increased risk of T2D in the child is 40%. The study says strategies to reduce obesity and overweight in women of reproductive age are urgently required.
The short-term complications of maternal obesity are well recognised - including gestational diabetes; pre-eclampsia; larger infants and higher likelihood of Caesarian delivery. In addition, there is now an increasing awareness that there are longer term health problems for infants born to obese mothers; for example, increased risk of premature cardiovascular disease and premature mortality.
Compared with normal weight mothers, being overweight or obese during pregnancy was associated with a significantly increased risk of any diabetes (type 1 or type 2) in the child, with an increased risk of 26% for overweight mothers and 83% for obese mothers. However, when looking only at type 2 diabetes, the increased risks were even higher.
Being an obese mother was associated with a 3.5 times increased risk of T2D in the child, while for overweight mothers, the associated increased risk was 40%.