Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy increases risk of fetal, infant death

Date:
November 27, 2013
Source:
Diabetologia
Summary:
New research shows that pre-existing diabetes in pregnant women greatly increases the risk of death of their unborn fetus by around 4.5 times compared with pregnant women without diabetes, and also almost doubles the risk of death of infants after birth.

New research shows that pre-existing diabetes in pregnant women greatly increases the risk of death of their unborn fetus by around four-and-a-half times compared with pregnant women without diabetes, and also almost doubles the risk of death of infants after birth. The research, published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes), is by Dr Ruth Bell and Peter Tennant, Newcastle University, UK, and colleagues from Newcastle University, and the South Tees NHS Trust, UK and Public Health England.

While previous research has investigated links between pre-existing diabetes in mothers and deaths of unborn fetuses and young children, it has not previously excluded congenital anomalies1 from causes of death. In this new research, the authors used unique sources of data from several long-standing population-based registers in the north of England to investigate the association between pre-existing diabetes and the risks of fetal and infant death in offspring without congenital anomalies.

All normally formed singleton offspring of women with pre-existing diabetes (1,206 with type 1 diabetes and 342 with type 2 diabetes) in the North of England during 1996� were identified from the Northern Diabetes in Pregnancy Survey. The relative risk of fetal death (i.e. death of a fetus at or after 20 weeks' gestation 2) and infant death (i.e. death during the first year of life) were estimated by comparison with population data from the Northern Perinatal Morbidity and Mortality Survey. Predictors of fetal and infant death in women with pre-existing diabetes were examined.

The researchers found that women with pre-existing diabetes were 4.56 times more likely to have their unborn fetus die compared with women without diabetes, while their infants were 1.86 times more likely to die. There was no difference in the risk of fetal and/or infant death in women with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2. Women with glycated haemoglobin (a standard measure of blood sugar control) above 6.6%, those with pre-pregnancy retinopathy (a complication of diabetes) and a lack of folic acid supplementation were all found to be at higher risk of experiencing a fetal or infant death.

The prevalence of fetal death was 3% in women with pre-existing diabetes, and the prevalence of infant death was 0.7%, compared with 0.7% and 0.4% in women without the condition. The researchers found no evidence that the increased risk of fetal and infant death associated with pre-existing diabetes had decreased over time, nor that the relative risk of stillbirth varied by gestational age.

The average glycated haemoglobin level in the pregnant women studied was 7.8%. England's National institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has set a target of 6.1% for women, while the American Diabetes Association target is 7%. 'If the women in the study had all achieved either the ADA target or NICE target, the authors estimate the prevalence of fetal death and infant death would have been around 40% lower.

The authors commented: "It's disappointing to see so little improvement because, with the right care, most women with diabetes can -- and will -- have a healthy baby. Stillbirths and infant deaths are thankfully not common, but they could be even less common if all women with diabetes can be helped to achieve the best possible control of their blood glucose levels.

"We already know that folic acid reduces the risk of certain congenital anomalies, such as spina bifida or cleft lip, which is why women with diabetes are advised to take high dose supplements of 5 milligrams daily. These are available on prescription and should be taken for at least 3 months before conceiving. Our results suggest this simple action may also help to reduce the risk of stillbirth or infant death even in babies without these conditions."

They add: "If you are planning a pregnancy, and your blood glucose levels are high, then any reduction -even a small one -- is likely to be good for your baby. Secondly, seek advice as early as possible from your diabetes team. They can help you keep your glucose at safe levels, as neither high blood glucose nor repeated episodes of severe hypoglycaemia are good for you or your baby."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Diabetologia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter W. G. Tennant, Svetlana V. Glinianaia, Rudy W. Bilous, Judith Rankin, Ruth Bell. Pre-existing diabetes, maternal glycated haemoglobin, and the risks of fetal and infant death: a population-based study. Diabetologia, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s00125-013-3108-5

Cite This Page:

Diabetologia. "Pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy increases risk of fetal, infant death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127225447.htm>.
Diabetologia. (2013, November 27). Pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy increases risk of fetal, infant death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127225447.htm
Diabetologia. "Pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy increases risk of fetal, infant death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127225447.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins