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Excessive Gestational Weight Gain Does Not Associate With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, Study Finds

A recent study has discovered that excessive gestational weight gain or GWG during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy does not seem to associate with gestational diabetes mellitus or GDM.

Excessive Gestational Weight Gain Does Not Associate With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, Study Finds
Photo: Gestational Weight Gain | InStyleHealth

What Is Gestational Weight Gain?

Gestational weight gain is defined as the amount of weight that is gained between conception and just before the birth of a baby. The Institute of Medicine or IOM, released guidelines, in 2009, that specify the amount of weight gain that is considerable, based on the mother’s pre-pregnancy body mass index or BMI. Remaining within these guidelines during pregnancy will have a higher probability resulting healthier pregnancies and birth results.

What Causes Gestational Weight Gain?

Most common cause of gestational weight gain in pregnant women is due to the baby growing. A woman’s body will also be storing fat, ready to produce breast milk after giving birth.

What Is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)?

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)  is a medical condition where a hormone produced by the placenta prevents the body from using insulin effectively. Glucose then builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells of the body.

Gestational diabetes is not caused by a lack of insulin unlike Type 1 diabetes; however, by other hormones produced during pregnancy which make insulin less effective than its normal function – this is a condition referred to as insulin resistance.

Experts conducted a retrospective analysis on 8,352 women with singleton pregnancies, except those with complications by fetal anomalies, fetal death, and overt diabetes. GDM or gestational diabetes mellitus diagnosis was based on the International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups. Excessive GWG was described either as weight gain above the 90th percentile or exceeding the recommendation by the Institute of Medicine.

There was a total of 1,129 participants or 13.5% were diagnosed with GDM. For those who did not develop GDM, showed significantly higher gestational weight gain overall (13.0 kg vs 11.7 kg), during the 2nd trimester (6.3 vs 5.9 kg), and after gestational diabetes mellitus (5.2 vs 4.1 kg).

But, rate of excessive GWG, utilizing either definition, did not differ between the GDM and non-GDM groups. Utilizing logistic regression analysis has discovered that GWG >90th percentile during the first and second trimesters was not a significant risk factor for GDM, nor was excessive GWG as defined by Institute of Medicine guidelines.

The excessive GWG by percentile weight gain or IOM before GDM screening was similarly unrelated to gestational diabetes mellitus risk.


Source: J DiabetesInvestig 2021;doi:10.1111/jdi.13648
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