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Having a baby born very prematurely or weighing more than 10 pounds increases a woman’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, recent research shows. If the findings can be replicated, investigators said these pregnancy complications could target women for lifestyle changes that may mitigate their diabetes risk down the road.
In the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, researchers reported data from first pregnancies of 51 728 women in the Nurses Health Study II. Although the study of female nurses aged 25 to 42 years began in 1989, the earliest pregnancy among them was in 1964. Follow-up ended in 2005 but covered a 35-year period. Over that time investigators examined associations between infants’ gestational age and birth weight and their mothers’ likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
Infant Birth Weight, Gestational Age Affect Maternal Diabetes Risk. JAMA. 2013;310(19):2032. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281093