Maternal Early-Life Risk Factors and Later Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the UAE Healthy Future Study (UAEHFS)

Nirmin F. Juber, Abdishakur Abdulle, Abdulla AlJunaibi, Abdulla AlNaeemi, Amar Ahmad, Andrea Leinberger-Jabari, Ayesha S. Al Dhaheri, Eiman AlZaabi, Fatima Mezhal, Fatma Al-Maskari, Fatme AlAnouti, Habiba Alsafar, Juma Alkaabi, Laila Abdel Wareth, Mai Aljaber, Marina Kazim, Michael Weitzman, Mohammad Al-Houqani, Mohammed Hag Ali, Naima OumezianeOmar El-Shahawy, Scott Sherman, Sharifa AlBlooshi, Syed M. Shah, Tom Loney, Wael Almahmeed, Youssef Idaghdour, Raghib Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Limited studies have focused on maternal early-life risk factors and the later development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). We aimed to estimate the GDM prevalence and examine the associations of maternal early-life risk factors, namely: maternal birthweight, parental smoking at birth, childhood urbanicity, ever-breastfed, parental education attainment, parental history of diabetes, childhood overall health, childhood body size, and childhood height, with later GDM. This was a retrospective cross-sectional study using the UAE Healthy Future Study (UAEHFS) baseline data (February 2016 to April 2022) on 702 ever-married women aged 18 to 67 years. We fitted a Poisson regression to estimate the risk ratio (RR) for later GDM and its 95% confidence interval (CI). The GDM prevalence was 5.1%. In the fully adjusted model, females with low birthweight were four times more likely (RR 4.04, 95% CI 1.36–12.0) and females with a parental history of diabetes were nearly three times more likely (RR 2.86, 95% CI 1.10–7.43) to report later GDM. In conclusion, maternal birthweight and parental history of diabetes were significantly associated with later GDM. Close glucose monitoring during pregnancy among females with either a low birth weight and/or parental history of diabetes might help to prevent GDM among this high-risk group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10339
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • GDM
  • UAE
  • UAE healthy future study
  • United Arab Emirates
  • epidemiology
  • gestational diabetes mellitus
  • maternal early-life factor
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Maternal Early-Life Risk Factors and Later Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the UAE Healthy Future Study (UAEHFS)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this