A cohort study of reproductive risk factors, weight and weight change and the development of diabetes mellitus

S. I. Dawson, W. C. S. Smith* (Corresponding Author), M. S. Watson, B. J. Wilson, G. J. Prescott, D. Campbell, P. Hannaford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


AIMS: Reproductive factors (parity, miscarriages, terminations), oral contraceptive use, hormone replacement therapy, body weight at first pregnancy and weight gain following pregnancy may be associated with a long-term risk of diabetes. The aim of this study is to investigate the independent risks of reproductive factors and body weight for diabetes in later life. METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of 1257 parous women who had a first pregnancy between 1951 and 1970. Reproductive history, weight and height were measured at the time of first pregnancy, then assessed by questionnaire in 1997 for all women. A clinical examination and an analysis of blood samples were undertaken for 992 women. The main outcome was incidence of diabetes based on medical history, medication and random glucose measurement. RESULTS: Sixty of the 1257 (4.8%) women developed diabetes. Body mass index at index pregnancy and after 28-48 years follow-up were both significantly associated with risk of diabetes, this increased with greater weight gain. There was a non-significant increased risk of diabetes associated with stillbirths and miscarriages after age and BMI adjustment. CONCLUSIONS: In parous women, higher BMI at index pregnancy, weight gain during follow-up and BMI in later life strongly predict diabetes risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-250
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes, Obesity & Metabolism
Issue number4
Early online date6 Jun 2003
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003


  • reproduction
  • diabetes
  • body weight
  • weight gain
  • follow-up


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