Women female fetuses exposed to tobacco smoke may have increased diabetes risk in middle age, reveals a new study.
Women whose parents smoked during pregnancy had increased risk of diabetes mellitus independent of known risk factors, adding to the evidence that prenatal environmental chemical exposures can contribute to adult diabetes mellitus.
The researchers had data on parental tobacco smoking during pregnancy, race, occupation, report of parental diabetes and self-report of body weight. They interviewed the daughters by phone, in-home visits and blood tests for glycated hemoglobin (hemoblogin A1c) to learn how well their diabetes was being controlled.
Prenatal smoking by the mothers had a stronger association with the daughters' diabetes mellitus risk than prenatal smoking by the fathers, and this association remained after adjusting for parental race, diabetes and employment.
Estimates of the effect of parental smoking remained after further adjustments for the daughters' birth weight or current body mass index.
The authors advised that, although further studies are needed to confirm these results, pregnant women should avoid smoking tobacco and being around tobacco smoke to help prevent diabetes mellitus in their adult children.