The age at which girls start menstruating could flag a later risk of diabetes during pregnancy, according to a University of Queensland study.
The age at which girls start menstruating could flag a later risk of diabetes during pregnancy, according to a University of Queensland study
UQ School of Public Health researchers analysed data from more than 4700 women from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health and found a higher number of women who reported having their first period at a younger age had later developed gestational diabetes.
Researcher Danielle Schoenaker said those who had their first period at age 11 or younger were 50 per cent more likely to develop gestational diabetes than those who experienced their first period at age 13.
“This finding could mean that health professionals will start asking women when they had their first period to identify those at higher risk of gestational diabetes,” Ms Schoenaker said.
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Gestational diabetes is an increasingly common pregnancy complication and can have long-lasting health consequences for mothers and their children.
Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health Director Professor Gita Mishra said early puberty in girls had now been shown to be a significant marker for several adverse health outcomes, including gestational diabetes.
The research is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.