- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Mar 14 2017
Early period may indicate risk of diabetes during pregnancy
Gestational diabetes affects a significant number of mothers. It is not yet known what causes the disease, but new research suggests that the age at which a woman experienced her first period may play a role.
During pregnancy, some women who have never had diabetes, or even prediabetes, before develop high blood sugar. This condition is referred to as gestational diabetes (GD), and it starts when the mother's body cannot produce or use enough insulin to transform the blood sugar into energy.
According to a 2014 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010 GD reportedly affected over 9 percent of women who gave birth that year. The condition usually affects the mother in the late stages of her pregnancy, after the baby has fully developed. For this reason, it does not cause birth defects or other developmental issues in the fetus.
However, untreated GD can increase the levels of blood sugar in the baby, and force the infant to produce more insulin to process the glucose. The result is often fetal macrosomia, or an overweight baby, which may put the newborn at risk of obesity or type 2 diabetes later in life.
It is not yet known what causes GD, but new research - published in the American Journal of Epidemiology - may have found a link between the age at which a woman gets her first period and the risk of developing GD.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland School of Public Health in Australia.
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