Gestational diabetes more likely with a boy, study reports

Jack Woodfield
Thu, 21 May 2015
Gestational diabetes more likely with a boy, study reports
A mother's risk of developing gestational diabetes may increase if they are pregnant with a son, a new study suggests.

A study conducted in Toronto, Canada evaluated 643,000 women who gave birth to their first child between April 2000 and March 2010. These figures only included births to a single baby.

313,280 women delivered a girl, while 329,707 gave birth to a boy. The researchers observed that women having sons were more likely to develop gestational diabetes after glucose tolerance was monitored in each pregnancy.

The researchers wrote: "Our findings suggest a male fetus leads to greater pregnancy-associated metabolic changes than a female fetus does."

Dr. Baiju Shah, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre at the University of Toronto added: "Public health programs often focus on how a pregnant mother's health, behaviour and physiology can impact the health of her baby. This study, however, suggests that the baby can help us better understand the health of the mother, and can help us predict her risks for future diseases."

Additional findings of the researchers included women who were pregnant with daughters had a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. Dr. Shah suggested these women had an increased metabolic susceptibility to gestational diabetes.

The authors believe their findings can "provide insight" as to how the fetal sex and glucose tolerance of the mother affects her risk of diabetes following delivery, and in subsequent pregnancies.

The findings of this study were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
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