Increased body fat percentage and physical inactivity are independent predictors of gestational diabetes mellitus in South Asian women

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
R IqbalK Gray-Donald


This study aims to identify lifestyle predictors of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in South Asian women. Pre-gravid body mass index, body composition, rate of weight gain during pregnancy, physical activity (PA) and dietary intake were studied. Prospective cohort study (n=611) of South Asian women at Aga Khan University Hospital antenatal clinic in Karachi, Pakistan. Weight, height and body fat % were measured and data on PA, diet and socio-economic covariates were collected at baseline. A glucose screen was performed at 29.8+/-2.6 weeks. Using logistic regression analysis for the full cohort, the risk of GDM increased with older maternal age (odds ratio (OR) 1.13, confidence interval (CI) 1.06-1.21), increased body fat % (OR 1.07, CI 1.03-1.13) and the risk was inversely associated with PA (100 kcal) (OR 0.79-0.99, CI 0.89). Using a nested case (n=49) control (n=98) design to study dietary intake, the risk of GDM decreased with increasing protein (% energy) in the diet (OR 0.75, CI 0.60-0.95). Body fat %, physical inactivity and, possibly, diet quality are important modifiable risk factors for GDM. 2006.


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