A new study concluded that mothers with high blood sugar levels during pregnancy are exposed to higher risks of developing type 2 diabetes, even though the glucose levels do not meet the traditional definition of gestational diabetes. Also, this condition is also boosting the risks of obesity in children.
The research dubbed as the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes-Follow-up Study or HAPO-FUS, funded mainly by the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), was published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was carried out on both mothers and their children and followed up the subjects for 10 to 14 years.
The new study comes in addition to the first HAPO research which concluded that even slightly elevated blood sugar levels boosted risks of complications for the baby both before and after birth. The HAPO-FUS, however, aimed to see if modest increases in blood glucose levels ups the risk of type 2 diabetes in mother or the threat of obesity in children.
High blood sugar levels during pregnancy increases risks of type 2 diabetes in mothers and obesity in children
According to the new HAPO-FUS study, among those women who had elevated blood glucose levels during pregnancy, 11% developed type 2 diabetes, while 42% presented prediabetes conditions.
Additionally, the researchers found out that 19% of children of mothers with high blood sugar levels were obese in comparison with only 10% of those kids born to mothers with normal glucose levels during pregnancy.
“The differences between mothers and their children due to the mother’s high blood sugar levels during pregnancy are very concerning. Even accounting for the mother’s weight, glucose had an independent effect. Our findings add to the motivation to find ways to help women at high risk for gestational diabetes who are or plan to get pregnant to take steps to reduce their risk,” explained Dr. Barbara Linder, a researcher from the NIDDK, and one of the study’s authors.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.