Untreated Mild Hyperglycemia During Pregnancy and Anthropometric Measures of Obesity in Offspring at Age 5–7 Years


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Abstract

OBJECTIVEObesity in the offspring of women with hyperglycemia during pregnancy has been reported, but the results are conflicting. This study examined the association of hyperglycemia during pregnancy and anthropometry in 5- to 7-year-old offspring whose mothers participated in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) Study at the Belfast Centre.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSWomen in the HAPO study underwent a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at approximately 28 weeks of gestation. Mothers and caregivers remained blinded to the results unless the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) concentration was >5.8 mmol/L or the 2-h plasma glucose (2hPG) concentration was >11.1 mmol/L. Offspring weight, height, and skinfold thicknesses (triceps, subscapular, and suprailiac) were measured at age 5–7 years. Overweight, obesity, and extreme obesity were defined as a BMI z score ≥85th, ≥95th, and ≥99th percentile, respectively, based on the 1990 British Growth Standard.RESULTSBelfast HAPO offspring (n = 1,320, 82%) aged 5–7 years attended for follow-up. With use of multiple regression, maternal FPG, 1h PG, and 2hPG did not show any relation to offspring BMI z score or offspring skinfold sum independent of maternal BMI at OGTT and offspring birth weight z score. This lack of association with maternal glycemia persisted with the offspring BMI z score expressed as ≥85th, ≥95th, or 99th percentile and the sum of skinfolds expressed as ≥90th percentile specific for sex. The initially significant relation between FPG and all offspring adiposity measures was explained by maternal BMI at the OGTT.CONCLUSIONSAfter adjustment for maternal BMI at the OGTT, higher maternal FPG concentration during pregnancy (short of diabetes) is no longer a risk factor for obesity, as reflected by BMI and the sum of skinfolds in offspring aged 5–7 years.

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