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Pregnancy Weight Gain, Especially in 1st Trimester, May Increase a Woman's Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Date:2/22/2010

Though the exact mechanism for how excessive weight gain may contribute to gestational diabetes is not known, researchers hypothesize that rapid weight gain early in pregnancy may result in an early increase in insulin resistance that leads to the "exhaustion" of the beta-cells in the pancreas that make and release insulin, which controls the level of glucose in the blood. This could reduce beta-cells' capacity to secrete adequate levels of insulin to compensate for the insulin resistance induced by the progression of pregnancy and therefore lead to the development of gestational diabetes, researchers said.

A strength of the study is its representative and ethnically diverse population. However, some limitations should be considered. Pre-pregnancy weights were self-reported for most women. However, researchers have no reason to believe that the women who developed gestational diabetes would have misreported their pre-pregnancy weight more than control women and results were similar when looking at the sub-group of women who had a measured pre-pregnancy weight.

This study is part of ongoing research at Kaiser Permanente to understand, prevent and treat gestational diabetes. A recent published Kaiser Permanente study of 16,000 women in Hawaii found that more than 10 percent of women of Chinese and Korean heritage may be at risk for developing gestational diabetes. Anot
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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