Following in mother's footsteps? Mother-daughter risks for insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease 15 years after gestational diabetes

Diabet Med. 2010 Mar;27(3):257-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2010.02944.x.


Aims: To determine effects on mothers and daughters of gestational diabetes mellitus/gestational impaired glucose tolerance (GDM/GIGT) on their future metabolic and cardiovascular risks.

Methods: Case mothers who had GDM/GIGT in pregnancy (cases; n = 90) and normoglycaemic control women (n = 99) and their daughters underwent lifestyle assessment and metabolic tests 15-years post-partum.

Results: Prevalence of glucose intolerance (GI) in daughters was 1.1%. Maternal prevalence was 44.4% in cases compared to 13.1% in controls, with conversion best predicted by weight gain. Case daughters had higher insulin resistance (IR) and greater waist circumference (WC) (51.2%) relative to control daughters (36.4%, p < 0.05) made worse if case mothers became GI at follow-up (65%) (relative risk =1.8; 95% confidence interval 1.2-2.9). In multivariable linear regression analyses adjusting for daughters' birthweight, maternal obesity (> 30.0 kg/m(2)) at 15years and mothers' case-control status were strong predictors of daughters' WC (p < 0.01; P < 0.01, respectively). For daughters' body mass index (BMI) percentile and percentage of body fat, maternal obesity was a stronger predictor (p < 0.01; p < 0.001)) than mothers' case-control status (p < 0.01; P = 0.09).

Conclusions: GDM/GIGT pregnancies led to increased conversion to GI in mothers, minimal in daughters. Case daughters have increased risk of central adiposity and insulin resistance, whereas maternal obesity strongly predicted daughters' BMI percentile and per cent of body fat. Controlling hyperglycaemia in pregnancy and family weight management may provide the key to preventing offspring obesity and glucose intolerance post GDM/GIGT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diabetes, Gestational / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Life Style
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nuclear Family
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Waist Circumference