(HealthDay News) – Women with a very preterm birth or with macrosomia may be at increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), according to a study published Sept. 19 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease.

Tamarra M. James-Todd, PhD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving 51,728 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study II who had a single live birth and complete pregnancy history. Women were followed from year of first birth until 2005 and incident diabetes was confirmed through supplemental questionnaires.

The researchers found that the risk of T2DM was increased for women with a very preterm birth (2%) (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.34), which emerged in the decade following pregnancy. After adjustment for risk factors, including gestational diabetes mellitus, macrosomia (1.5%) correlated with a significantly increased risk of T2DM (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.61) that presented within the first five years after pregnancy. Over the 35-year follow-up, term low birth weight and moderate preterm birth were not associated with a significantly increased risk of T2DM.

“If replicated, these findings could lead to a reduced risk of T2DM through improved primary care for women experiencing a preterm birth or an infant of non-normal birth weight,” the authors write.

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