HealthDay News — Earlier age at menarche is associated with increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), according to a study published online January 26 in Diabetes Care.

In a prospective cohort study, Liwei Chen, MD, PhD, from Clemson University in South Carolina, and colleagues examined the correlation between age at menarche and risk of GDM. Data were included for 42,109 eligible pregnancies from 27 482 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II.

The researchers found that across the age at menarche categories (≤11, 12, 13, and ≥14 years), the adjusted risk ratios for GDM were 1.34 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14 to 1.58), 1.13 (95% CI, 0.97 to 1.31), 1.11 (95 percent CI, 0.95 to 1.29), and 1.00 (referent), respectively (P for trend = 0.0005). Overall, 42.1% of the association (P = 0.0007) was mediated through prepregnancy body mass index.

“In summary, earlier age at menarche was associated with an elevated risk of GDM,” the authors write. “A large proportion, but not all, of this association was mediated through excessive adiposity before pregnancy.”

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