Maternal pre-existing diabetes tied to autism spectrum disorder risk

  • Yamamoto JM & al.
  • Diabetologia
  • 5 Jul 2019

  • curated by Sarfaroj Khan
  • UK Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • This meta-analysis suggests exposure to maternal pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy is associated with lower intelligence (IQ) quotient and increased risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
  • However, caution should be exercised when interpreting these findings.

Why this matters

  • Awareness regarding the association of exposure to pre-existing diabetes in utero with intelligence and ASD should contribute to a low threshold for investigating parental concerns.

Study design

  • Meta-analysis of 19 articles involving more than 18,681 participants with pre-existing diabetes and 2,856,688 control participants.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • Offspring exposed to pre-existing diabetes had significantly lower IQ than the control groups (pooled weighted mean difference, −3.07 [95% CI, −4.59 to −1.55; I2=0%]).
  • Maternal pre-existing diabetes exposure was associated with an increased risk for ASD (effect estimate, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.46-2.68; I2=0%).
  • The risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder was higher with exposure to maternal pre-existing diabetes (2 studies; pooled adjusted HR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.19-1.55; I2=0%).

Limitations

  • Risk of bias.