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Diabetes Care. 1999 Aug;22(8):1284-91.

Effects of maternal gestational diabetes on offspring adiposity at 4-7 years of age.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Miriam Hospital, Brown University Program of Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.



The purpose of this study was to assess the long-term effects of maternal prenatal factors, including gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), adiposity, and weight gain during pregnancy, on adiposity of offspring from 4 to 7 years of age. A second purpose was to investigate the relationships among childhood adiposity, blood pressure, and 2-h postprandial glucose level.


Prospective observational study of four groups of children including large-for-gestational-age (LGA) offspring of mothers with gestational diabetes (OGDM); appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) OGDM; LGA control subjects; and AGA control subjects. Anthropometrics including skin-fold measurements, blood pressure measurements, and a 2-h postprandial glucose measurement were obtained at each visit. Repeated measures analysis of variance models were used to detect different patterns of longitudinal change among the groups.


LGA OGDM were more likely to be heavier, have larger circumferences and skin-fold measurements, and have a higher BMI than AGA OGDM and control subjects, and these findings increased with increasing age. Blood pressures and postprandial glucose values were similar for OGDM and control subjects at 4-7 years. Multivariable analyses showed that infant BMI and maternal prepregnant BMI predicted 7-year BMI for OGDM, whereas for control subjects, maternal prepregnancy BMI and weight gain during pregnancy were positive predictors with a small negative contribution from birth BMI.


We conclude that LGA OGDM have evidence of increasing body size and adiposity with increasing age and that maternal GDM and maternal prepregnant adiposity are significant predictors of their unique growth patterns.

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