Children and youths whose mothers had diabetes during their pregnancy are themselves at an increased risk of the disorder, say researchers.
The study showed that a child or teenager whose mother had gestational diabetes -- diabetes during pregnancy -- was nearly twice as likely to develop diabetes before the age of 22 years.
The association was found in children from birth to the age of 22 years, from birth to 12 years, and from 12 to 22 years, said the study, published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.
"Although Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes in parents are well-established risk factors for diabetes, we show that gestational diabetes mellitus may be a risk indicator for diabetes in the mother's children before age 22," said Kaberi Dasgupta, clinician-scientist from the McGill University in Canada.
"This link of diabetes in children and youth with gestational diabetes in the mother has the potential to stimulate clinicians, parents, and children and youth themselves to consider the possibility of diabetes if offspring of a mother with gestational diabetes mellitus develop signs and symptoms such as frequent urination, abnormal thirst, weight loss or fatigue," said Dasgupta.
According to World Health Organzation, diabetes can be treated and its consequences can be avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.
For the study, the researchers included 73,180 mothers.