Public Library of Science, PLoS ONE, 8(10), p. e0134883
Maternal diabetes in pregnancy affects offspring health. The impact of parental diabetes on offspring health is unclear. We investigated the impact of parental diabetes on the metabolic-health of adult-offspring who did not themselves have diabetes. Data from the Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study, a population-based family cohort, were record-linked to subjects' own diabetes medical records. From F0-parents, we identified F1-offspring of: mothers with diabetes (OMD, n = 409), fathers with diabetes (OFD, n = 468), no parent with diabetes (ONoPD, n = 2489). Metabolic syndrome, body, biochemical measurements and blood-pressures were compared between F1-offspring groups by sex. A higher proportion of female OMD had metabolic syndrome than female OFD or ONoPD (P<0.0001). In female offspring, predictors of metabolic syndrome were: having a mother with diabetes (OR = 1.78, CI 1.03-3.07, [reference ONoPD]), body mass index (BMI, OR = 1.21, CI 1.13-1.30) and age (OR = 1.03, CI 1.01-1.06). In male offspring, predictors of metabolic syndrome were: BMI (OR = 1.18, CI 1.09-1.29) and percent body-fat (OR = 1.12, CI 1.05-1.19). In both sexes, OMD had higher blood-pressures than OFD (P<0.0001). In females, OMD had higher glucose (P<0.0001) and percent body-fat (P<0.0001) compared with OFD or ONoPD. OMD and OFD both had increased waist-measurements (P<0.0001), BMI (P<0.0001) and percent body-fat (P<0.0001) compared with ONoPD. Female OMD and OFD had lower HDL-cholesterol levels (P<0.0001) than female ONoPD. Parental diabetes is associated with higher offspring-BMI and body-fat. In female offspring, maternal diabetes increased the odds of metabolic syndrome, even after adjusting for BMI. Further investigations are required to determine the mechanisms involved.