Importance: The sequelae of gestational diabetes (GD) by contemporary criteria that diagnose approximately twice as many women as previously used criteria are unclear.
Objective: To examine associations of GD with maternal glucose metabolism and childhood adiposity 10 to 14 years' postpartum.
Design, setting, and participants: The Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) Study established associations of glucose levels during pregnancy with perinatal outcomes and the follow-up study evaluated the long-term outcomes (4697 mothers and 4832 children; study visits occurred between February 13, 2013, and December 13, 2016).
Exposures: Gestational diabetes was defined post hoc using criteria from the International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups consisting of 1 or more of the following 75-g oral glucose tolerance test results (fasting plasma glucose ≥92 mg/dL; 1-hour plasma glucose level ≥180 mg/dL; 2-hour plasma glucose level ≥153 mg/dL).
Main outcomes and measures: Primary maternal outcome: a disorder of glucose metabolism (composite of type 2 diabetes or prediabetes). Primary outcome for children: being overweight or obese; secondary outcomes: obesity, body fat percentage, waist circumference, and sum of skinfolds (>85th percentile for latter 3 outcomes).
Results: The analytic cohort included 4697 mothers (mean [SD] age, 41.7 [5.7] years) and 4832 children (mean [SD] age, 11.4 [1.2] years; 51.0% male). The median duration of follow-up was 11.4 years. The criteria for GD were met by 14.3% (672/4697) of mothers overall and by 14.1% (683/4832) of mothers of participating children. Among mothers with GD, 52.2% (346/663) developed a disorder of glucose metabolism vs 20.1% (791/3946) of mothers without GD (odds ratio [OR], 3.44 [95% CI, 2.85 to 4.14]; risk difference [RD], 25.7% [95% CI, 21.7% to 29.7%]). Among children of mothers with GD, 39.5% (269/681) were overweight or obese and 19.1% (130/681) were obese vs 28.6% (1172/4094) and 9.9% (405/4094), respectively, for children of mothers without GD. Adjusted for maternal body mass index during pregnancy, the OR was 1.21 (95% CI, 1.00 to 1.46) for children who were overweight or obese and the RD was 3.7% (95% CI, -0.16% to 7.5%); the OR was 1.58 (95% CI, 1.24 to 2.01) for children who were obese and the RD was 5.0% (95% CI, 2.0% to 8.0%); the OR was 1.35 (95% CI, 1.08 to 1.68) for body fat percentage and the RD was 4.2% (95% CI, 0.9% to 7.4%); the OR was 1.34 (95% CI, 1.08 to 1.67) for waist circumference and the RD was 4.1% (95% CI, 0.8% to 7.3%); and the OR was 1.57 (95% CI, 1.27 to 1.95) for sum of skinfolds and the RD was 6.5% (95% CI, 3.1% to 9.9%).
Conclusions and relevance: Among women with GD identified by contemporary criteria compared with those without it, GD was significantly associated with a higher maternal risk for a disorder of glucose metabolism during long-term follow-up after pregnancy. Among children of mothers with GD vs those without it, the difference in childhood overweight or obesity defined by body mass index cutoffs was not statistically significant; however, additional measures of childhood adiposity may be relevant in interpreting the study findings.