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The Association between Maternal Glucose Concentration and Child BMI at Age 3 Years


Deierlein, Andrea L.; Siega-Riz, Anna Maria; Chantala, Kim; & Herring, Amy H. (2011). The Association between Maternal Glucose Concentration and Child BMI at Age 3 Years. Diabetes Care, 34(2), 480-484. PMCID: PMC3024372


OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to determine the association between child BMI at age 3 years and maternal glucose concentration among women without pre-existing diabetes or a gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) diagnosis.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Data are from the Pregnancy Infection and Nutrition and Postpartum studies and include 263 mother-child pairs. Measured weights and heights at 3 years were used to calculate age- and sex-specific BMI z scores and percentiles. Multivariable linear regression models were used to examine associations of continuous BMI z scores with maternal glucose concentration. Modified Poisson regression estimated risk ratios of child overweight/obesity (BMI ≥85th percentile).
RESULTS: The mean (SD) maternal glucose concentration and prepregnancy BMI were 103.8 (23.7) mg/dL and 24.3 (5.9) kg/m(2), respectively. At 3 years, the mean (SD) child BMI z score was 0.29 (0.99), 20.9% were overweight/obese and 5.3% were obese. In the adjusted model, when compared with glucose concentration <100 mg/dL, a concentration ≥130 mg/dL was associated with significantly higher child BMI z score at 3 years (estimated z score difference of 0.39 [95% CI: 0.03-0.75]). With the use of the same reference category, a concentration ≥130 mg/dL was associated with an approximate twofold greater risk of child overweight/obesity (adjusted risk ratio 2.34 [95% CI: 1.25-4.38]).
CONCLUSIONS: Fetal exposure to high maternal glucose concentration in the absence of pre-existing diabetes or GDM may contribute to the development of overweight/obesity in the offspring, independent of maternal prepregnancy BMI.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Diabetes Care


Deierlein, Andrea L.
Siega-Riz, Anna Maria
Chantala, Kim
Herring, Amy H.