AFP

PARIS

Women who are obese while pregnant may put their offspring at risk of childhood diabetes, a condition that requires lifelong insulin therapy, Swedish researchers said Tuesday. A study of more than 1.2 million children born in Sweden between 1992 and 2004 and monitored for several years, found a 33-percent higher risk for the disease among children whose mothers were obese during the first trimester of pregnancy, but were not diabetic themselves. ‘Maternal overweight and obesity in early pregnancy were associated with increased risk of type 1 diabetes in the offspring of parents without diabetes,’ a team wrote in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. The highest risk was still for children of parents who had diabetes themselves, the study found. There was no additional risk for children of mothers who were obese on top of having diabetes. Over 5,700 children from the study group were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes by 2009. Type 1 diabetes is usually found in children and young people - a chronic condition caused when the pancreas does not produce insulin to control blood sugar levels. It requires lifelong insulin treatment, and constitutes about 10 percent of all diabetes cases - though the number is growing.