Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Follow-up Study (HAPO FUS): Maternal Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and Childhood Glucose Metabolism

Diabetes Care. 2019 Mar;42(3):372-380. doi: 10.2337/dc18-1646. Epub 2019 Jan 17.


Objective: Whether hyperglycemia in utero less than overt diabetes is associated with altered childhood glucose metabolism is unknown. We examined associations of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) not confounded by treatment with childhood glycemia in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) cohort.

Research design and methods: HAPO Follow-up Study (FUS) included 4,160 children ages 10-14 years who completed all or part of an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and whose mothers had a 75-g OGTT at ∼28 weeks of gestation with blinded glucose values. The primary predictor was GDM by World Health Organization criteria. Child outcomes were impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and type 2 diabetes. Additional measures included insulin sensitivity and secretion and oral disposition index.

Results: For mothers with GDM, 10.6% of children had IGT compared with 5.0% of children of mothers without GDM; IFG frequencies were 9.2% and 7.4%, respectively. Type 2 diabetes cases were too few for analysis. Odds ratios (95% CI) adjusted for family history of diabetes, maternal BMI, and child BMI z score were 1.09 (0.78-1.52) for IFG and 1.96 (1.41-2.73) for IGT. GDM was positively associated with child's 30-min, 1-h, and 2-h but not fasting glucose and inversely associated with insulin sensitivity and oral disposition index (adjusted mean difference -76.3 [95% CI -130.3 to -22.4] and -0.12 [-0.17 to -0.064]), respectively, but not insulinogenic index.

Conclusions: Offspring exposed to untreated GDM in utero are insulin resistant with limited β-cell compensation compared with offspring of mothers without GDM. GDM is significantly and independently associated with childhood IGT.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Intolerance / epidemiology
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Prediabetic State / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / epidemiology*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / metabolism
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucose