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Women's weight before conception and how much they gain during pregnancy are known risk factors for gestational diabetes, the study authors explained. Gestational diabetes is a form of high blood sugar diagnosed during pregnancy. It can cause complications for both mother and baby.
The study involved about 24,200 women who gave birth between 2006 and 2014. The researchers considered the women's previous history of gestational diabetes and body mass index (BMI) when they got pregnant again. BMI is an estimate of body fat based on weight and height. A BMI of 30 is considered obese.
About 36 percent of the women gained more than 1 BMI unit of weight between the start of their first pregnancy and their second, the study found. These women were more likely than women whose weight was stable to develop diabetes during a second pregnancy.
These risks were most striking among women whose weights were normal before their first pregnancy. The study showed, however, that overweight women who lost weight after delivery reduced their risk of diabetes during another pregnancy.
The study was published Aug. 1 in the journal PLOS Medicine.
-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
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