Health care officials are concerned by the rising tide of diabetes, apparently propelled by genetically susceptible women entering pregnancy too fat. Those who study the diabetes epidemic are concerned that it’s one more time bomb. Estimates are that as many as 20 to 50 percent of the women who develop gestational diabetes will get Type 2 within 5 to 10 years. Scientists do not think that the disorder causes Type 2 diabetes, but it alerts a woman that she could be headed down that road and might be able to delay or avert Type 2 with lifestyle adjustments
There is a strong genetic underpinning to gestational diabetes, as with all diabetes, but doctors mention two trends in New York and elsewhere that seem to be colliding to push up prevalence: many women are entering pregnancy fatter, and more women are having children later.
Overweight women or those older than 25 are considered at higher risk, and there are steeper rates among African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American populations. Women carrying multiple babies face more risk as well. But some women with none of those factors also get it.