Maternal Diabetes Linked to Increased Risk of ADHD, ASD, and Cardiometabolic Disorders in Offspring

June 17, 2024

New Study Emphasizes the Importance of Managing Pregnancy Glycemic Levels to Mitigate Long-Term Health Conditions

A Canadian population-based cohort study spanning births from April 1991 to March 2018 investigated the long-term effects of maternal diabetes on offspring. The study included 3,407,961 mother/infant pairs and found that children of women with type 1 diabetes had the highest risks of developing ADHD, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and cardiometabolic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Specifically, the adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) indicated a 1.43 times higher risk for ADHD, 1.94 times for ASD, 4.73 times for diabetes, 2.32 times for hypertension, and 1.72 times for CVD compared to children of women without diabetes. Similar but lesser risks were observed in children of women with type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Additionally, higher pregnancy HbA1c levels in women with preexisting diabetes were linked to increased cardiometabolic outcomes in their offspring, with aHRs of 1.22 for diabetes, 1.42 for hypertension, and 1.20 for CVD. However, no significant association with neurobehavioral outcomes was found. These findings suggest that managing glycemic levels during pregnancy could potentially reduce the risk of cardiometabolic disorders in children.

Original Study Abstract

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