Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, in Oakland, California, reported that women who gained about 5 to 22 pounds per year during the 5 years prior to pregnancy were 2.5 times more likely to develop gestational diabetes. Thus the study finds that would-be pregnant women decrease their likelihood of developing gestational diabetes by not gaining weight, study findings suggest.
Gestational diabetes, marked by glucose intolerance that is first experienced or noticed during pregnancy, may require daily insulin injections and is associated with fetal complications. The condition usually resolves after childbirth. From this group, the researchers identified 251 women who developed gestational diabetes and 204 who did not to serve as controls. The women all delivered a live infant between 1996 and 1998, the researchers report in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The team of the researchers said that the association between weight gain and gestational diabetes was stronger among women who were not initially overweight or obese.