Diabetes During Pregnancy Linked to Early Onset of Cardiovascular Disease in Offspring

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By : dLife Editors

Children of mothers with diabetes have increased rates of early-onset cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a new observational study from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark.

Dr. Yongfu Yu and colleagues decided to look at the link between maternal diabetes diagnosed before or during pregnancy and early-onset CVD in offspring during their first 40 years of life.

Data for 2,432,000 live-born children without congenital heart disease in Denmark from 1977 to 2016 were gathered.

The researchers found that CVD was diagnosed in 1,153 offspring of mothers with diabetes and 91,311 offspring of mothers who did not have diabetes during up to 40 years of follow-up.

The researchers found the overall rate of early-onset CVD was increased for the offspring of mothers with diabetes.

Increased rates of CVD in offspring were seen in association with pregestational diabetes and gestational diabetes.

Offspring of mothers with diabetes complications had more pronounced increased rates. Offspring of mothers with diabetes and comorbid CVD had a higher incidence of early-onset CVD.

The authors conclude that children of mothers with diabetes, especially those mothers with a history of CVD or diabetic complications, have increased rates of early-onset CVD from childhood to early adulthood.

They noted that if maternal diabetes does have a causal association with increased CVD rate in offspring, the prevention, screening, and treatment of diabetes in women of childbearing age could help to reduce the risk of CVD in the next generation.

The research has been published in BMJ.


  1. Yu, Yongfu, et. al. (2019, Dec. 5). Maternal diabetes during pregnancy and early onset of cardiovascular disease in offspring: a population-based cohort study with 40 years of follow-up. Retrieved Dec. 6, 2019 from BMJ 2019;367:l6398