Diabetes and Pregnancy: Risk Linked to Weight Gain

A study of more than 22,000 medical records spanning a 10-year period in California hospitals has shown that developing diabetes during pregnancy is linked to weight gain in mothers.

The study tracked first and second pregnancies, and found women who gained weight between the two were more likely to develop the condition during their second pregnancy. To wit:

Forty-six out of every 1,000 women had gestational diabetes during their first pregnancies, 52 out of every 1,000 had it during their second pregnancies, and 18 out of every 1,000 mothers developed diabetes during both pregnancies. The risk of developing diabetes during the second pregnancy among all the women increased with the amount of weight gained after the first baby.

Among overweight women, losing weight between the two pregnancies was tied to a reduced diabetes risk. Lead author Samantha Ehrlich commented:

“We thought that these findings indicated for all women that they should get back to their pre-pregnancy weight or lose weight if they were overweight or obese pre-pregnancy… It’s easy to say, OK, go lose the baby weight. It’s a lot harder to do.”

The study about diabetes and pregnancy was published in the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.