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Early Menstrual Period May Indicate Risks of Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Update Date: Mar 07, 2017 08:10 AM EST

The latest study reveals that girls who have their first period before age 11 are at higher risk of acquiring gestational diabetes during pregnancy. GS is a common pregnancy complication that can sometimes result in long-lasting health consequences that concern both the mothers and their children.

Medical News Today reports that a large number of women are developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy because of being obese and overweight. This is becoming a global trend, thus encouraging women, even in their teen years to be more conscious of their weight to lower risk of hormonal changes and possible occurrence of gestational diabetes.

Although there is no concrete reason for acquiring GS during pregnancy, new research suggests that the age at which a woman experienced her first period may play a significant role in acquiring GS later in life. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that in 2010 alone, gestational diabetes has affected over 9 percent of women who gave birth that year. This can cause birth defects or other developmental issues in the fetus.

The research was co-authored by Danielle Schoenaker and also suggests that the body mass index, early life, reproductive, and other lifestyle factors can increase the chances of acquiring gestational diabetes. Puberty in women is also being linked to other possible health outcomes in the future.

Untreated gestational diabetes can also increase the sugar level in the blood of the bay and may force the infant to produce more insulin to process the glucose, Science Daily reveals. This, in turn, can result in fetal macrosomia or overweight babies. This puts a newborn at risk of obesity, overweightedness or type-2 diabetes later in their life.

The study was conducted at the University of Queensland School of Public Health in Australia and was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. It included 4,700 women enrolled in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health.

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