University of Edinburgh | June 2019 |Children of obese mums at higher diabetes risk
New research indicates that babies who are born to mothers with obesity have a higher risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes in later life. The study also reports that being overweight in pregnancy also increases the child’s diabetes risk by a half.
The experts behind the research analysed data from the birth records of 100000 children born in Aberdeen during 1950 and 2011 and linked them with the national register for diagnosed diabetes in Scotland. Figures revealed around one quarter of women were overweight during pregnancy over the 60-year period. One in ten were obese, with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40.
Offspring whom mums were overweight or obese during pregnancy had an associated risk factor of between 1.4 and 3.5-fold increased incidence.
The study indicates that the proportion of obese mothers increased five-fold from around one in 30 during the 1950s to almost one in six between 2000 and 201 (Source: University of Edinburgh)
Read press release in full from University of Edinburgh
Journal article Consequences of being overweight or obese during pregnancy on diabetes in the offspring: a record linkage study in Aberdeen, Scotland
Full reference: Lahti-Pulkkinen, et al. | 2019| Consequences of being overweight or obese during pregnancy on diabetes in the offspring: a record linkage study in Aberdeen, Scotland| Diabetologia| 1-8.
Maternal obesity in pregnancy is associated with cardiovascular disease and mortality rate in the offspring. We aimed to determine whether maternal obesity is also associated with increased incidence of type 2 and type 1 diabetes in the offspring, independently of maternal diabetes as a candidate mechanistic pathway.
Birth records of 118,201 children from 1950 to 2011 in the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank were linked to Scottish Care Information–Diabetes, the national register for diagnosed diabetes in Scotland, to identify incident and prevalent type 1 and type 2 diabetes up to 1 January 2012. Maternal BMI was calculated from height and weight measured at the first antenatal visit. The effect of maternal obesity on offspring outcomes was tested using time-to-event analysis with Cox proportional hazards regression to compare outcomes in offspring of mothers in underweight, overweight or obese categories of BMI, compared with offspring of women with normal BMI.
Offspring of obese (BMI more than or equal to 30 kg/m2) and overweight (BMI 25–29.9 kg/m2) mothers had an increased hazard of type 2 diabetes compared with mothers with normal BMI, after adjustment for gestation when weight was measured, maternal history of diabetes before pregnancy, maternal history of hypertension, age at delivery, parity, socioeconomic status, and sex of the offspring: HR 3.48 (95% CI 2.33, 5.06) and HR 1.39 (1.06, 1.83), respectively.
Maternal obesity is associated with increased incidence of type 2 diabetes in the offspring. Evidence-based strategies that reduce obesity among women of reproductive age and that might reduce the incidence of diabetes in their offspring are urgently required.