The Risk for Developing Gestational Diabetes Is Higher in Women Having Twins

According to a study reported on in July of 2018 in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics twin pregnancies are at higher risk of developing Gestational diabetes, or pregnancy-related diabetes, than singleton pregnancies. Other risk factors are the same for singleton and twin births.

Scientists at Tel Aviv University in Israel and other research facilities in Canada included 270,843 women who had a twin or singleton birth in Ontario, Canada between 2012 and 2016…

  • a total of 266,942, or 98.6 percent, had single births, while
  • 3901 had twins.

The women with twins had a 13 percent higher risk of developing Gestational diabetes than the women with one child. The difference was significant only in women treated with diet alone. Other qualities raising the risk of the condition in mothers bearing both singletons and twins included…

  • mother’s age at least 35,
  • non-Caucasian race,
  • a body mass index (BMI) over 30 kg/m2 (obese).

According to one study twins born to women diagnosed with Gestational diabetes can require more care than mothers pregnant with a single baby. In June of 2018, the journal Endocrinology Diabetes and Nutrition reported on a study that compared twins and singletons born from women with the condition. Researchers at the University Hospital in Madrid, Spain compared 120 sets of twins with 240 singletons born to women who had been diagnosed with diabetes during their pregnancy. A higher percentage of low birthweight babies was seen among the twins, although the number did not quite reach statistical significance. Twins had a…

  • higher risk of low blood sugar levels and
  • polycythemia, a higher than average concentration of red blood cells.

In April of 2017, the Journal of Perinatology reported on an analysis of earlier studies conducted at the Royal North Shore Hospital and other research facilities in Sydney, Australia. In an aggregate of thirteen studies, twins from mothers diagnosed with Gestation diabetes were born at the same pregnancy age as twins from non-diabetic mothers, with a slightly lower average birth weight. The number of overly large or small newborns was the same for those from Gestationally diabetic mothers as for those with non-diabetic mothers. The risk of difficulty with…

  • breathing,
  • low blood sugar, and
  • low Apgar* scores

were the same, although twins from Gestationally diabetic mothers were 49 percent more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit.

*Apgar scores were invented by an obstetrician -Virginia Apgar, and measure the baby’s health at 1 minute and again at 5 minutes after birth. It measures…

  • the breathing,
  • heart rate,
  • color,
  • muscle tone, and
  • grimace.