THURSDAY, June 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Maternal obesity and overweight are associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes in offspring, according to a study published online June 19 in Diabetologia.

Marius Lahti-Pulkkinen, Ph.D., from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and colleagues linked birth records for 118,201 children in the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank (1950 to 2011) to Scottish Care Information-Diabetes to identify incident and prevalent type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The effect of maternal obesity was tested on offspring outcomes.

After adjusting for gestation when weight was measured, maternal history of diabetes before pregnancy, maternal history of hypertension, age at delivery, parity, socioeconomic status, and offspring sex, the researchers found that the risk for type 2 diabetes was increased for offspring of obese (body mass index [BMI], ≥30 kg/m²) and overweight (BMI, 25 to 29.9 kg/m²) mothers compared with those with normal BMI (hazard ratios, 3.48 and 1.39, respectively).

“With the rising prevalence of being overweight/obese in women of childbearing age (for example, recent data indicated that over 60 percent of women in the United States of America were overweight or obese at the time of conception), our findings have profound public health implications,” the authors write. “There is an urgent need to establish effective approaches to prevention of obesity and diabetes among mothers and their offspring.”

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