When obesity is a known factor leading to gestational diabetes, this latest study by the UQ School of Public Health has added the early onset of menstruation to the list of probable association.
The study 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, according to the research.
The research comes at very relevant times, when we see girls starting their menstrual cycles at a younger age becoming a global trend, and the only development being the reduction of the age.
In this scenario, now health professionals could start to include age of first period as a marker for potential adverse health outcomes. Early puberty in girls have shown to be a significant marker for several adverse health outcomes, now gestational diabetes.
"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," she said.
The research is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
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