By: Jan Chait
Young children whose mothers had type 1 diabetes while pregnant could be at higher risk to develop heart disease in later life than children whose mothers did not have type 1 diabetes during pregnancy.
Researchers from Ireland tested 61 children 5 to 11 years old whose mothers had type 1 diabetes during pregnancy and compared them to 57 randomly selected children of the same age, gender and social class whose mothers did not have type 1 diabetes while pregnant. None of the children tested had diabetes themselves.
Children of the mothers who had diabetes had higher total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, cholesterol-to-HDL ratios, Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 levels, PAI-1 levels (a marker for inflammation) and other markers for cardiovascular risk factors.
The researchers ran the tests because of previously noted links between cardiovascular disease in later life and fetal malnutrition.
—Diabetologia, June 2002