Melbourne: Girls who start menstruating at a younger age are 50 per cent more likely to develop gestational diabetes, researchers including one of Indian origin have found.
Gestational diabetes is an increasingly common pregnancy complication and can have long-lasting health consequences for mothers and their children. Researchers from University of Queensland in Australia analysed data from more than 4,700 women and found a higher number of women who reported having their first period at a younger age had later developed gestational diabetes.
Those who had their first period at age 11 or younger were 50 per cent more likely to develop gestational diabetes than those who experienced their first period at age 13, said Danielle Schoenaker. "This finding could mean that health professionals will start asking women when they had their first period to
identify those at higher risk of gestational diabetes," Schoenaker added.
Early puberty in girls has now been shown to be a significant marker for several adverse health outcomes, including gestational diabetes, said Professor Gita Mishra, Director of Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. "A large proportion of women who develop diabetes during pregnancy are overweight or obese and encouraging those with an early start of puberty to control their weight before pregnancy may help to lower their risk of gestational diabetes," said Schoenaker. The was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.