If you're wondering just how at-risk you are for developing gestational diabetes, your age and body mass index (BMI) can...
If you're wondering just how at-risk you are for developing gestational diabetes, your age and body mass index (BMI) can offer valuable clues. New research published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, shows that both age and BMI play an important part in how at-risk you are for gestational diabetes, and even more so if you're a South Asian or Black African woman. Data was collected on 585,291 pregnancies and included 1,688 women who developed gestational diabetes and 172,632 who did not. Women were divided into age groups of: below 20, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39 and above 40 years of age. Weight was also divided along with BMI: less than 18.5(underweight), 18.50-24.99 (normal weight), 25.00-29.99 (overweight) and more or equal to 30.00 (obese). According to the study, there was a strong link between gestational diabetes development and an older maternal age, but the age issue varied by racial group. Some key findings about age and gestational diabetes included:
- White European women older than 30 years were more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
- Black Africans or Black Caribbean women older than 25 years were more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
- South Asians older than 20 years were also more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
- The rate of gestational diabetes rose more quickly as women aged.
- The only group of women with significantly less risk of developing gestational diabetes were white women under 20 years of age.