Maternal diabetes linked to early-onset cardiovascular disease in offspring


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Children of mothers with diabetes could have increased rates of early-onset cardiovascular disease (CVD) from childhood to early adulthood, according to a new research published in the BMJ

As part of the study, researchers evaluated the associations between diabetes diagnosed before or during pregnancy and early-onset CVD in 2,432,000 children born without congenital heart disease in Denmark during 1977-2016.

During up to 40 years of follow-up, 1,153 offspring of mothers with diabetes and 91,311 offspring of mothers who did not have diabetes were diagnosed with CVD. 

The authors reported that offspring of mothers with diabetes had a 29 per cent increased overall risk of early-onset CVD compared with children of mothers who did not have diabetes (cumulative risks: 17.8% vs 13.1%; hazard ratio [HR] 1.29; 95% CI 1.21-1.37). Children of mothers with diabetic complications or with diabetes and a history of CVD had higher rates of early-onset CVD than children of mothers with diabetes only.

The authors said if this association is shown to be causal, then preventing, screening and treating diabetes in women of childbearing age could be important for reducing long-term risks of CVD in their offspring.