JDC Gems

4. GDM as a marker of childhood obesity risk

    Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and preeclampsia are principal causes of mortality and morbidity in mothers and children. High childhood body mass index (BMI) is the most prominent among the negative outcomes. However, little is known about the trajectory of the child BMI exposed to GDM and co-occurring preeclampsia from early to mid-childhood.

    A recent study published in Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics investigated the combined and independent impact of GDM and preeclampsia on childhood BMI trajectory and arrived at the concluding remark that there is a strong relationship exists between the two.

     A population-based sample of 356 mothers was recruited from OB/GYN clinics in New York. Their children were followed annually from 18 to 72 months. . Child BMI was calculated based on their height and weight at annual visits. GDM and preeclampsia status of the mothers were obtained from the medical records.

    Hierarchical Linear Modeling was used to evaluate the trajectories of child BMI exposed to GDM and preeclampsia. BMI trajectory by GDM decreased (t ratio = − 2.24, β=β=0.45, 95% CI − 0.05–0.95, p = 0.07), but the trajectory by preeclampsia increased over time (t ratio = 3.153,β=β=0.65, 95% CI 0.11–1.18, p = 0.002). Moreover, there was a significant interaction between the two (tratio = −2.24, β=β=− 1.244, 95% CI 0.15–2.33, p = 0.02), such that the BMI of children born to mothers with both GDM and preeclampsia showed consistent increases over time. GDM and preeclampsia could be used as a marker for childhood obesity risk and the identification of a high-risk group, providing potential early intervention. These findings highlight the importance of managing obstetric complications, as an effective method of child obesity prevention.

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