Animal fat and cholesterol linked to increased gestational diabetes risk

Maternal and newborn health research has discovered a link between women eating a diet high in animal fat and cholesterol before pregnancy and an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes.

A team from the National Institutes of Health and Harvard University in the US analysed data from over 13,000 female participants who enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II between the ages of 22 and 45.

The researchers compared the prevalence of gestational diabetes across five categories split according to how many calories the women received from eating animal fat and cholesterol.

People in the highest quintile for animal fat consumption were almost twice as likely to develop gestational diabetes than those in the lowest group, while those who ate the most cholesterol experienced around a 45 per cent increase in risk.

"Our findings indicate that women who reduce the proportion of animal fat and cholesterol in their diets before pregnancy may lower their risk for gestational diabetes during pregnancy," Dr Cuilin Zhang of the Epidemiology Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and senior author of the study said.

An association was recently found between this pregnancy complication and a higher risk of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder by a team led by Yoko Nomura at the City University of New York's Queens College in the US.

Posted by Martine WardADNFCR-2094-ID-801276877-ADNFCR

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