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Background and Objectives: Childhood obesity is a global public health concern with long-term and serious health implications. An important factor for childhood obesity is maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), which in turn impacts maternal and offspring long-term health. This study aimed to investigate the associations between maternal GDM and childhood weight status and multiple anthropometric and sociodemographic factors and perinatal outcomes. Materials and Methods: A total of 5348 children aged 2–5 years old and their paired mothers took part in the study. Questionnaires were utilized to evaluate the sociodemographic factors and perinatal outcomes as well as smoking habits, educational level, economic status, age, and parity status. Children’s anthropometric parameters were measured, and maternal medical history, preterm birth records, and anthropometric measures during pregnancy were retrieved by their medical records. Results: Overall, 16.4% of the children aged at 2–5 years were overweight, and 8.2% of them were affected by obesity, leading to a total 24.6% of children with overweight/obesity. Further, 5.5% of the enrolled mothers were diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus. GDM doubles the probability of childhood overweight/obesity at ages 2–5 years old independently of multiple confounding factors. Pre-pregnancy overweight and obesity, older maternal age, and smoking are risk factors for GDM, while GDM additionally increases the risk of preterm birth. Children of mothers that developed GDM were at greater risk of overweight or obesity, with the association between GDM and offspring’s weight status being independent of confounding factors. Conclusions: GDM is a severe public health issue with prolonged complications for both the mother and their children. Public health approaches and programs need to promote the negative role of pre-pregnancy weight and smoking status as well as the significance of a good glycemic control throughout gestation in women of childbearing age.
Medicine and Health Sciences
gestational diabetes, childhood obesity, preschool children, pregnancy, perinatal factors, pre-pregnancy BMI
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Mantzorou, Maria; Papandreou, Dimitrios; Pavlidou, Eleni; Papadopoulou, Sousana K.; Tolia, Maria; Mentzelou, Maria; Poutsidi, Antigoni; Antasouras, Georgios; Vasios, Georgios K.; and Giaginis, Constantinos, "Maternal Gestational Diabetes Is Associated with High Risk of Childhood Overweight and Obesity: A Cross-Sectional Study in Pre-School Children Aged 2–5 Years" (2023). All Works. 5733.
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Open Access Type
Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series