Intrauterine Exposure to Diabetes May be Linked to Cardiovascular Disease in Adolescence

writes Dr. Jonathan McGavock, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and Associate Professor at the…

writes Dr. Jonathan McGavock, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, with coauthors.

‘After using the data for nearly all children born in Manitoba over a period of 30 years, it was found that children born to mothers with diabetes in pregnancy were 30%-80% more prone to develop a heart condition and 2.0 to 3.4 times more prone to develop a heart disease risk factor such as high blood pressure and diabetes than those born to mothers without diabetes in pregnancy.’


Researchers analyzed the data on more than 290 000 children born to almost 190 000 mothers in Manitoba between 1979 and 2005 and found that out of those children, 2.8% were exposed to gestational diabetes and 1.1% to pre-existing type 2 diabetes.

Exposure to both gestational diabetes and pre-existing diabetes became more common during the study period, a trend seen elsewhere in the world.

High blood pressure (8713 people), type 2 diabetes (3568 people) and ischemic heart disease (715) were the three most frequent diagnoses among the offspring exposed to diabetes.

Moving forward, heart conditions and risk factors were diagnosed 2 years earlier in the children who were exposed to diabetes in the womb.

Prior studies have demonstrated the enhanced risk of type 2 diabetes but not cardiovascular disease, from in utero exposure to diabetes.

These findings may be useful in taking preventive measures and health practices, according to the authors.

“Screening children with in utero exposure to diabetes for cardiovascular disease risk factors might help to evaluate the future burden related to cardiovascular disease in the population,” concluded the authors.

“Intrauterine exposure to diabetes and risk of cardiovascular disease in adolescence and early adulthood: a population-based birth cohort study” is published.

Source: Medindia