What is the prevalence of glucose intolerance in the children born to mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)?

Updated: Apr 29, 2020
  • Author: Thomas R Moore, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The adverse downstream effects of abnormal maternal metabolism on the offspring have been documented well into puberty. Glucose intolerance and higher serum insulin levels are more frequent in children of diabetic mothers than in normal controls. By age 10-16 years, offspring of diabetic pregnancy have a 19.3% rate of impaired glucose intolerance. [42]

A study by Patel et al found that maternal pregnancy glycosuria, gestational diabetes, and existing diabetes demonstrate some association with higher offspring fasting glucose and insulin; however, little evidence suggests an association between maternal diabetes or glycosuria with offspring lipids, blood pressure, and C-reactive protein. [43]

The childhood metabolic syndrome includes childhood obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and glucose intolerance. A growing body of literature supports a relationship between intrauterine exposure to maternal diabetes and risk of a metabolic syndrome later in life. [44, 45] Fetuses of diabetic women that are born large for gestational age appear to be at the greatest risk. [45]


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