Maternal smoking during pregnancy and daughters' risk of gestational diabetes and obesity

Diabetologia. 2013 Aug;56(8):1689-95. doi: 10.1007/s00125-013-2936-7. Epub 2013 May 23.


Aims/hypothesis: The primary aim of the study was to investigate the risk of developing gestational diabetes in women who were exposed to tobacco smoke in utero. Secondary aims were to assess the risk of obesity and non-gestational diabetes.

Methods: Data were retrieved from the Medical Birth Register of Sweden for women who were born in 1982 (when smoking data were first registered) or later and who had given birth to at least one child; 80,189 pregnancies were included. The associations between in utero smoking exposure (three categories: non-smokers, 1-9 cigarettes/day [moderately exposed] and >9 cigarettes/day [heavily exposed]) and subsequent gestational diabetes (n = 291), non-gestational diabetes (n = 280) and obesity (n = 7,300) were assessed.

Results: The adjusted ORs (aORs) of gestational diabetes were increased among women who were moderately (1.62, 95% CI 1.24, 2.13) and heavily (1.52, 95% CI 1.12, 2.06) exposed. The corresponding aORs of obesity were 1.36 (95% CI 1.28, 1.44) and 1.58 (95% CI 1.48, 1.68), respectively. A reduced OR for non-gestational diabetes was seen in the offspring of heavy smokers (aOR 0.66, 95% CI 0.45, 0.96).

Conclusions/interpretation: Women exposed to smoking during fetal life were at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes and obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult