Recurring gestational diabetes may lead to birth complications

A recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reports that women who developed gestational diabetes during their first and second pregnancies may experience a recurrence during their third pregnancy.

In a population of 65,132 women, researchers found that those who developed the condition during their first pregnancy had a 630 percent chance of doing so again. Mothers who had gestational diabetes during their first two pregnancies had a 25.9-fold chance of experiencing a recurrence during their third.

This risk was substantial among Hispanic and Asian Pacific Islander women, and was increased in women who are over the age of 30.

The disease - officially known as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) - results from an intolerance to glucose during the second or third trimester. It has caused complications in an estimated 7 percent of U.S. pregnancies and may result in early delivery, Caesarean sections and the development of type 2 diabetes.

"Because of [this condition's] silent nature, it is important to identify early those who are at risk and watch them closely during their prenatal care," said lead author Darios Getahun of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation.

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