Women who developed gestational diabetes in their first and second pregnancies face an increased risk of the disease recurring, states a new study.
The risk of recurring gestational diabetes was substantial among Hispanic and Asian Pacific Islander women compared with their white counterparts.
Gestational diabetes is defined as glucose intolerance that typically occurs during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
It can lead to early delivery, Caesarean sections and type-2 diabetes, and can increase the child's risk of developing diabetes and obesity later in life.
The findings lend credence to the importance of educating and counselling pregnant women about whether they have an increased risk of recurrent gestational diabetes in subsequent pregnancies.
"Well-controlled gestational diabetes may prevent complications that result in foetal and maternal morbidity, such as high blood pressure during pregnancy, urinary tract infections, caesarean delivery, big babies, birth trauma, and a variety of other adverse outcomes, including future diabetes," said study lead author Dr. Darios Getahun, research scientist/epidemiologist in the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation.
This study shows that the magnitude of association of the recurrence risk of gestational diabetes in successive pregnancies is modified by the number of successive pregnancies, and this risk differs by race/ethnicity.
The find appears in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.