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Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes

It is possible to develop gestational diabetes with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing gestational diabetes. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:

Obesity or Overweight

Studies found that women with a body mass index (BMI) of 25.0 to 29.9 (classified as overweight) are at an increased risk of gestational diabetes. If your BMI is over 30, you are at an even greater risk.

Gestational Diabetes in a Previous Pregnancy

If you had gestational diabetes with a previous pregnancy, this puts you at risk for developing the condition again.

Age    TOP

Being older than 35 may increase your risk of gestational diabetes.

Family History of Diabetes    TOP

If you have a first-degree relative (parents, siblings) with diabetes, your risk of gestational diabetes is increased.

Race    TOP

You may be at an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes if you are:

  • Hispanic American
  • Native American
  • Asian American
  • African American
  • Pacific Islander

Previous Delivery of a Large Baby    TOP

If you delivered a baby who was excessively large at birth (called macrosomia), this increases your chance of gestational diabetes in your next pregnancy.

Other Risk Factors    TOP

  • Having a history of glucose intolerance
  • Having a history of polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Being pregnant with more than one fetus (multiple gestation)
  • Gaining weight rapidly during pregnancy
  • Sleep-disordered breathing—abnormal breathing during sleep ranging from snoring to sleep apnea
  • Having risk factors related to childbirth, such, having a previous stillbirth, having a child with a birth defect, having too much amniotic fluid surrounding baby during pregnancy
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References:

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated June 29, 2017. Accessed September 12, 2017.
What I need to know about gestational diabetes. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed September 12, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG
Last Updated: 9/17/2014

 

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