• Gestational Diabetes Increases the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Children
  • March 25, 2015 | Author: Stephen J. Burg
  • Law Firm: Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. - Englewood Office
  • Scientists from Yale University school of Medicine found infants who were exposed to gestational diabetes were six times more likely to develop diabetes or prediabetes than unexposed children.

    Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes developed in pregnant women, usually between the 24th and 28th weeks of the pregnancy, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's crucial for the healthy and safety of the mother and baby that the condition is controlled. Without treatment, the baby can become too large, causing discomfort for the mother and problems during delivery. Women who suffer from gestational diabetes more often need cesarean section births than women who don't have the condition. Gestational diabetes can also increase the chances of preeclampsia and hypoglycemia in mothers.

    The researchers analyzed the health of 225 obese adolescents who had normal glucose tolerance levels when selected for the study. Of the participants, 210 were not exposed to gestational diabetes in utero and 45 were exposed to gestational diabetes in utero.

    The participants underwent glucose tolerance testing approximately every 2.8 years, and the researchers found only 9 percent of the adolescents in the nonexposed group developed an impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or type 2 diabetes. Thirty-one percent of the exposed group developed IGT or type 2 diabetes.

    The adolescents exposed to gestational diabetes in the womb had reduced beta cell function, meaning the cells that produce insulin didn't work properly, and had a lower insulin sensitivity, compared to the nonexposed group, Science Daily reported.

    "Our study demonstrates that obese normal glucose-tolerant children of GDM mothers have pre-existing defects in beta cell function," say the authors. "This is in turn a strong risk factor for these children to develop prediabetes or diabetes."

    An increasing risk
    The rate of gestational diabetes in the United States is increasing, according to the authors of the study. Eighteen percent of women experience the condition. Because of the rising risk, the study authors concluded its important for obese children of women who had gestational diabetes be tested for gluten intolerance.