What are the Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes

What are the Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes?

While gestational diabetes can affect any woman during pregnancy, certain factors can heighten the risk of its development. Here are some risk factors associated with gestational diabetes:

  1. Age: Women aged 25 or older face a higher risk of gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
  2. Past History: A previous history of gestational diabetes increases the likelihood of developing it in subsequent pregnancies. Additionally, giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 lb (4 kg) raises the risk.
  3. Family History: Having a family history of diabetes, particularly a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes, increases the risk of gestational diabetes.
  4. Lifestyle and Weight: Sedentary lifestyle habits before pregnancy and obesity (with a body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher) elevate the risk of gestational diabetes.
  5. Race: Women from certain racial or ethnic groups, including Latin Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, or Pacific Islanders, are at a higher risk of gestational diabetes.
  6. Medical History: Conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), presence of a dark skin rash called acanthosis nigricans on the back of the neck or in body folds, use of certain medications like corticosteroids, history of pre-diabetes, or complications during a previous pregnancy increase the risk of gestational diabetes.

It’s important to note that while these risk factors increase the likelihood of gestational diabetes, they do not guarantee its development. Consulting a doctor for advice on preventive measures is advisable.