Previous studies found conflicting results about the associations between the exposure to maternal hyperglycemia in utero and the later risks of childhood overweight and obesity. The aim of the present study was to compare the children’s body mass index (BMI) growth between offspring exposed to maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and those not exposed, and assess the associations between maternal GDM and their offspring’s overweight and obesity risk. We performed a large observational study in 1156 women and their offspring (578 GDM and 578 non-GDM mother-child pairs, matched by their offspring’s gender and age). The mean values of children were 5.86 years (range 3-9 years old). After adjustment for maternal and children’s characteristics, children born to mothers with GDM during pregnancy had higher mean values of Z scores for BMI-for-age, Z-scores for weight-for-age, waist circumferences, body fat, subscapular skinfold, and suprailiac skinfold, in comparison with their counterparts born to mothers with normal glucose (all P values <0.05). Moreover, maternal GDM was associated with a higher risk of childhood overweight and obesity with multivariate-adjusted odds ratios of 1.42 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02-1.97) and 1.18 (95% CI: 1.11-1.24), respectively, compared with the children of mothers without GDM during pregnancy. Maternal GDM is an independent risk factor of childhood overweight and obesity, and it is associated with children’s faster growth of BMI.


J. Wang: None. L. Wang: None. S. Zhang: Employee; Self; American Diabetes Association. Advisory Panel; Self; Company/ABC. H. Liu: None. J. Leng: None. W. Li: None. T. Zhang: None. N. Li: None. W. Li: None. A. Baccarelli: None. L. Hou: None. G. Hu: None.

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