Diabetes in children linked to maternal gestational diabetes

According to new research, diabetes in children is more likely to occur if the mother of the child experienced maternal gestational diabetes.

Approximately one-quarter of children and teenagers are diagnosed with diabetes when seeking care for diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening complication as a result of diabetes.

Subsequently, researchers from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Canada, conducted a study of over 73,000 mothers and compared data on births from mothers with gestational diabetes to births from mother without gestational diabetes.

The incidence, which refers to the number of new cases, of diabetes per 10,000 person-years was 4.5 in children born to mothers with gestational diabetes and 2.4 in mothers without.

Therefore, these figures indicate that it is nearly twice as likely for a child or teen whose mother had gestational diabetes to develop diabetes before the age of 22 years.

Lead researcher and clinical scientist Dr Kaberi Dasgupta said: “Although Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in parents are well-established risk factors for diabetes, we show that gestational diabetes mellitus may be a risk indicator for diabetes in the mother’s children before age 22.”

As a result of these findings, Dr Dasgupta added: “This link of diabetes in children and youth with gestational diabetes in the mother has the potential to stimulate clinicians, parents, and children and youth.

“It is important for researchers to now consider the possibility of diabetes if offspring of a mother with gestational diabetes mellitus develop signs and symptoms such as frequent urination, abnormal thirst, weight loss or fatigue.”