Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus in a birth cohort of First Nation children born to mothers with pediatric-onset type 2 diabetes

Pediatr Diabetes. 2011 May;12(3 Pt 2):219-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2010.00694.x. Epub 2011 Mar 23.


Background: Children who are born to mothers with pediatric-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus are exposed to a hyperglycemic intra-uterine environment throughout pregnancy. The growth patterns and risk of type 2 diabetes in these offspring may be influenced by unique gene-environment interactions during intra-uterine and postnatal life.

Subjects: We established a cohort of offspring of First Nation mothers with onset of type 2 diabetes before age 18 years in Manitoba, Canada.

Methods: We measured height or length and weight at study entry and annually thereafter with fasting blood glucose in offspring aged ≥ 7 years. We collected birth and breastfeeding history and determined the population-specific hepatic nuclear factor-1α (HNF-1α) G319S genotype of offspring at age 7 years.

Results: From July 2003 to April 2008, we enrolled 76 offspring of 37 mothers. Sixty-four percent (23/36) of the offspring aged 2-19 years were obese at initial assessment. The rates of obesity remained constant throughout the 5 years. As of April 2008, 7/28 (25%) of the offspring aged 7-19 years have diabetes including 6/14 (43%) aged 10-19 years. Most offspring with diabetes (5/7, 71%) were obese at diagnosis. All of the 7 offspring with diabetes have 1 or 2 copies of the G319S polymorphism.

Conclusions: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in this cohort of offspring of First Nation women with pediatric-onset type 2 diabetes is the highest ever reported. Obesity is an important postnatal risk factor for type 2 diabetes in this population and may result from a unique gene-environment interaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Anthropometry
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing
  • Genotype
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-alpha / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Manitoba / epidemiology
  • Mass Screening
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult


  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-alpha