Gestational diabetes, or pregnancy-related diabetes, typically occurs around week 24 of pregnancy and is characterized by high blood sugar that results from the body’s impaired use of insulin. Researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medical Group in Pasadena found that the risk of having gestational diabetes during a future pregnancy increases with each previously affected one.
While gestational diabetes rarely causes birth defects, complications can arise that threaten the health of both mom and baby. Gestational diabetes affects approximately 4% of the women during their first pregnancy, and the study found that the risk of a second occurrence is 41% after the first and 57% after two pregnancies complicated by gestational diabetes.
Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders had approximately double the risk of gestational diabetes compared with white women.
The study was published in the the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.