Parity and the risk of diabetes mellitus among Chinese women: a cross-sectional evidence from the Tongji-Dongfeng cohort study

PLoS One. 2014 Aug 8;9(8):e104810. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104810. eCollection 2014.


Objectives: Little is known about the long-term health impact of pregnancy on women. The objective of this study was to examine the association between parity and the risk of diabetes among a population of Chinese women.

Study design: A total of 14,196 women (aged ≥ 45 years) from the Dongfeng-Tongji Cohort study who had experienced at least one live birth completed baseline questionnaires, medical examinations, and provided baseline blood samples. Participants were categorized into four groups according to parity (one, two, three, or four or more live births). Logistic regression models were used to investigate the association between parity and the risk of diabetes after controlling potential confounders.

Results: The prevalence of diabetes in the study population was 18.0% (2,552/14,196). Fasting plasma glucose levels increased with the increasing number of live births (P<0.001) and parity had a positive graded association with diabetes without adjustment for any covariates (P for trend <0.001). After adjusting for potential confounders, women who had had two, three, and four or more live births had 1.35 times (95% CI, 1.20-1.52), 1.59 times (95% CI, 1.39-1.82) and 1.44 times (95% CI, 1.21-1.71), respectively, higher risk of diabetes compared with women who had had one live birth.

Conclusion: Multiparity was associated with increasing risk of diabetes in this population of Chinese women. These findings suggested that multiparity may be a risk factor for the development of diabetes among Chinese women. Future studies are needed to examine the physiological changes during pregnancy for risk of diabetes in later life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Live Birth
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Parity*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors

Grant support

This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China, Project No. 81273083 and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2012TS071). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.