Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Elevated pregnancy blood sugars linked to obesity in offspring

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A new study by Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research carries both good news and bad news. Bad news first -- research of 9,439 mother-child pairs shows maternal blood sugar is tied to a future risk of obesity in offpsring. Pregnant women with above-normal blood sugar levels were twice as likely to have overweight kids. Across all racial and ethnic groups, the higher the mother's blood sugar during pregnancy, the greater the chance her offspring would develop obesity by 5 to 7 years of age.

Now if you're pregnant and you've been diagnosed with high blood sugar, take a deep breath. The good news is the risk of childhood obesity is reversible if elevated sugars are treated through diet, exercise and insulin (if required). At particular risk are women with sugar levels higher than normal, but not high enough to be deemed gestational diabetes. They were more likely to have obese children than women treated for gestational diabetes or those with normal sugars.

Borderline blood sugars are nothing to ignore. I shared in a previous post that moderately elevated glucose during pregnancy is associated with other problems such as cesarean section and heavier babies. Gestational diabetes criteria may widen. Also, Deanna reported earlier this month that gestational diabetes is linked to pancreatic cancer.

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