Gestational diabetes mellitus and cardio-metabolic risk factors in women and children at 3 years postpartum

Maleesa M. Pathirana, Prabha H. Andraweera, Emily Aldridge, Shalem Y. Leemaqz, Madeline Harrison, Jade Harrison, Petra E. Verburg, Margaret A. Arstall, Gustaaf A. Dekker, Claire T. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is thought to be associated with cardio-metabolic risk factor development in women and their children during the early postpartum period and early childhood. We hypothesized that these women and their children would exhibit increased abnormal cardio-metabolic risk factors three years after pregnancy. 

Methods: Women from the Screening Tests to Predict Poor Outcomes of Pregnancy study were invited to attend a follow-up with the child from their index pregnancy at 3 years postpartum. Women and children were assessed for anthropometric measures and haemodynamic function. Fasting blood samples were obtained from women to assess lipid and glucose status. 

Results: A total of 281 woman-child dyads participated in the 3-year follow-up, with 40 women developing GDM during their index pregnancy. Fasting serum insulin was higher in women with GDM in index pregnancy compared to those with an uncomplicated pregnancy. However, this association was mediated by early pregnancy BMI and socioeconomic index (SEI). The rate of metabolic syndrome was higher in the GDM group than the uncomplicated pregnancy group. Maternal GDM was associated with elevated maternal fasting serum triglycerides at 3 years after adjustment for early pregnancy BMI and SEI. Children exposed to GDM in utero had higher waist circumference compared to children born after an uncomplicated pregnancy, but this is mediated the above covariates. 

Conclusion: Exposure to GDM is associated with elevated serum triglycerides in women at 3 years postpartum but other cardiometabolic outcomes in women and children appear to be mediated by early pregnancy BMI and SEI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1246
Number of pages10
Issue number9
Early online date11 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Child health
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Maternal health


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