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Pre-Pregnancy Weight Ups Gestational Diabetes Risk

Risk of impaired glucose tolerance increases for overweight women at conception who gain too much during pregnancy

MONDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Putting on more excess pounds than expected during pregnancy and obesity significantly increase a woman's gestational diabetes risk, researchers report in the December issue of American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Tina M. Saldana, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and colleagues defined pregnant women with one high value on the glucose tolerance test as having impaired glucose tolerance, those with two high values as having gestational diabetes mellitus, and those with normal value as having normal glucose tolerance.

The researchers found that the ratio of observed weight gain versus expected weight gain was greater in women with gestational diabetes than in those with normal glucose tolerance. Weight gain ratio only slightly aggravated the risk of gestational diabetes, but pre-pregnancy-related overweight and obese status both significantly increased the risk.

Weight gain ratio in women who were already overweight when they became pregnant increased the risk of glucose tolerance impairment, the report indicates.

"Pre-pregnancy weight was strongly associated with gestational diabetes mellitus, whereas weight gain during pregnancy was associated with impaired glucose tolerance only among overweight women," the authors conclude.

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