Children of mothers with diabetes face higher CVD risk

  • Yu Y & al.
  • BMJ
  • 4 Dec 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Maternal diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with increased early-onset cardiovascular disease (CVD), particularly among offspring of mothers with a history of CVD or diabetic complications.

Why this matters

  • Preventing, screening, and treating diabetes in women of childbearing age could be important not only for improving their health but also for reducing long-term risks for CVD in their offspring, say researchers.

Study design

  • Researchers analysed the health records of children born in Denmark without congenital heart disease during 1977-2016 (n=2,432,000), following each for up to 40 years to explore associations between maternal diabetes exposure and early-onset CVD.
  • Funding: Lundbeck Foundation, Danish Council for Independent Research, Independent Research Fund Denmark, Karen Elise Jensens Fond, Novo Nordisk Foundation, National Natural Science Foundation of China, NIH.

Key results

  • The overall rate of early-onset CVD was 29% greater in offspring of mothers with diabetes (HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.21-1.37).
  • Higher CVD rates were associated with both maternal diabetic complications (HR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.25-2.05) and comorbid CVD (HR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.36-2.20).

Limitations

  • Researchers could not rule out residual confounding by genetic, environmental, or lifestyle factors.
  • The study did not examine risk for CVD in late adulthood.