Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Dr. Piotr Wilk


Background: Although gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has been linked to pediatric obesity, there is limited research on the impact of intrauterine exposure to GDM on trajectories of childhood growth. Objective: To assess the effect of prenatal GDM exposure on childhood body mass index (BMI) trajectories. Design: Analyses were conducted using data from cycles 2 to 6 (1994-2004; N=3412 children) of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. Latent growth curve modelling (LGCM) was used to model BMI trajectories from age 2 to 10 years with prenatal exposure to GDM as a predictor. Effect modification by breastfeeding was assessed. Results: Among males, prenatal exposure to GDM was associated with significantly lower initial BMI. There were no other statistically significant effects of prenatal exposure to GDM. Effect modification by breastfeeding was not statistically significant. Conclusions: Despite mainly non-significant findings, this study lays the groundwork for future pediatric obesity research using LGCM.