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.