Apr 18, 2019 | Updated: 11:44 AM EDT

Diabetes in Children Connected to Maternal Gestational Diabetes, Study Says

Apr 15, 2019 10:31 AM EDT

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Diabetes in Children Connected to Maternal Gestational Diabetes, Study Says
(Photo : Image by mwooten from Pixabay)

In recent research, "Gestational diabetes associated with incident diabetes in childhood and youth: a retrospective cohort study" published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), it was discovered by researchers that children and youth of mothers with gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at risk of diabetes themselves.

Approximately one-quarter of children and youth are diagnosed when seeking care for diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes. Therefore, early detection of diabetes is quite essential.

A clinician-scientist from the Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CPRE) at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Dr. Kaberi Dasgupta, said that they were able to reveal that gestational diabetes mellitus may be a risk indicator for diabetes in the mother's children before age 22, even when type 1 and 2 diabetes in patients are well-established risk factors for diabetes.

In the study, the researchers examined 73, 180 mothers compared data on randomly selected single births from mothers with gestational diabetes to births from mothers without gestational diabetes. The figure for new cases in the incidence of diabetes per 10, 000 person-years were 4.5 in children born to mothers with gestational diabetes and 2.4 in mothers without gestational diabetes.

It is nearly twice as likely for a child or teen whose mother had gestational diabetes to develop diabetes before the age of 22 years. The study discovered the link in children from birth to age 22 years, from birth to 12 years, and from 12 to 22 years.

Also in the study, using a large retrospective cohort, the researchers previously revealed gestational diabetes mellitus and gestational hypertension to be the indicators of incident diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease or mothers' mortality, and also fathers' incident diabetes. And utilizing a similar cohort, they examined maternal gestational diabetes mellitus as a risk indicator of diabetes in children and youth.

Dr. Dasgupta said further that the connection of diabetes in children and youth with gestational diabetes in mother has the potential of stimulating clinicians, parents, and children and youth themselves to consider the possibility of diabetes if offspring of a mother with gestational diabetes mellitus develop signs and symptoms such as frequent urination, abnormal thirst, weight loss or fatigue.

There is a need for future studies to examine the outcome of longer-term in patients with pediatric diabetes with a maternal history of gestational diabetes mellitus, to ascertain how they compare with other patients with childhood - or youth-onset diabetes, in terms of diabetes severity and outcomes.

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