Children of diabetic mothers have increased cardiometabolic risk factors
MedWire News: Children of diabetic mothers have significantly increased levels of cardiometabolic risk factors by the age of 9.5 years, say researchers.
“Though paternal diabetes was associated with higher offspring adiposity and insulin resistance, associations with maternal diabetes were stronger and related to more outcomes, suggesting that intrauterine exposure to hyperglycemia has additional effects apart from those related to genetic predisposition,” report Ghattu Krishnaveni (CSI Holdsworth Memorial Hospital, Mysore, India) and team in the journal Diabetes Care.
For the study, Krishnaveni and colleagues recruited 514 healthy Indian children, of whom 35 were born to diabetic mothers (ODM), 39 to diabetic fathers (ODF), and 381 to nondiabetic parents (controls).
The children were measured for various cardiometabolic risk factors at ages 5 and 9.5 years.
At 9.5 years of age, female ODMs had significantly greater adiposity (larger skinfold measurements), higher glucose and insulin measurements, and greater insulin resistance (measured by homeostasis model assessment), as well as higher systolic blood pressure than controls. Male ODMs of the same age had only greater insulin resistance compared with controls.
Female ODFs had greater adiposity and male ODFs had greater insulin resistance at 9.5 years than controls, but the associations were weaker than for ODMs.
Of note, associations were similar but weaker at the 5 year measurement.
“Maternal diabetes is a strong determinant of adiposity and clustering of cardiovascular risk factors in Indian children,” conclude the authors.
“Since gestational diabetes mellitus now affects 5–20% of urban Indian pregnant women, this may contribute to the escalating prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in this region.”
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By Helen Albert