By U-T San
A recent study suggests that obese women who develop diabetes while pregnant gain 11 pounds or more after giving birth. Their risk for developing type 2 diabetes is also more than 40 times greater compared to women who maintain a healthy body weight.
This is according to the findings of a study published on March 18 in the journal Diabetologia.
Diabetes that appears during pregnancy, called gestational diabetes, often goes away after a woman gives birth.
However, some women who experience gestational diabetes also have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes when they get older.
The study’s head researcher at the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development said extra weight is a risk factor for both gestational and type 2 diabetes, and notes the importance of maintaining a healthy weight before and after pregnancy.
Nearly 1,700 women who took part in the Diabetes & Women’s Health Study developed gestational diabetes between 1991 and 2001. During the 18-year follow-up study,
259 of the study participants also developed type 2 diabetes.
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes rose by 27 percent for each 11-pound weight gain for women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes — regardless of the pre-pregnancy weight, the study found.
For obese women, who developed gestational diabetes, gaining 11 pounds or more was associated with a 43 times higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes when compared to women who gained less than 11 pounds after gestational diabetes.