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According to researchers, post gestational diabetes; further weight gain could dramatically increase risk of type 2 diabetes

Posted:  Thursday, March 26, 2015

According to a new study, obese women (with body mass index 30 or higher) who develop gestational diabetes (GDM) in pregnancy and who pile on further weight are more than 40 times likely to develop type-2 diabetes(T2D) later in life.

Published in the journal Diabetologia, the study titled ‘Diabetes & Women's Health study’ evaluated 1695 women with a history of GDM who were enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II (NHS II). The aim of the study was to identify factors which determine progression of GDM to T2D among participants.

Women who reported incident GDM from 1991 to 2001 were enrolled. During the 18 years of the follow up, 259 incident cases of type 2 diabetes were reported. The researchers noted a 16% increase in the risk of type-2 diabetes for each increase of one unit (1 kg/m2) in either baseline BMI or most recent BMI.

With an increment of 5 kg after GDM, the risk of T2D was higher by 27%. Additionally, the researchers found that obese women who experienced GDM and recording a weight gain in excess of 5 kg were 43% more likely to develop T2D later compared to women who reported a BMI of 25 or less at baseline and gained 5 kg or less after GDM.

The researchers noted the associations of BMI and weight change with risk of T2D regardless of age, family history of diabetes, diet quality, physical activity, breastfeeding duration and time since GDM pregnancy.

"Among women with a history of GDM, we observed significant and positive associations of risk of type 2 diabetes with initial BMI within 2 years after diagnosis of GDM, the most recent BMI before diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and weight gain after GDM. Our findings provide evidence to support the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight in these high-risk women to prevent future development of type 2 diabetes," concluded the researchers.

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