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Diabetologia. 2005 Sep;48(9):1743-8. Epub 2005 Jul 14.

Sibling birthweight as a predictor of macrosomia in women with type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Perinatology and Gynaecology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, KJ.02.507.0/P.O. Box 85090, 3508 AB Utrecht, The Netherlands.



The aim of this study was to establish the value of maternal HbA1c levels and older sibling birthweight as predictors of birthweight and macrosomia in the offspring of women with type 1 diabetes.


A total of 214 pregnancies of 107 women with type 1 diabetes were studied. Regression analysis was performed to test the predictive value of the birthweight of the first-born infant, HbA(1)c levels, maternal BMI, maternal age and time between subsequent births on the birthweight of the second-born infant. Birthweights were corrected for sex and gestational age. The percentages of first- and second-born infants with macrosomia (weight >90th centile) were calculated and compared.


Only the birthweight of earlier born infants was significantly related to that of second-born infants (p<0.001) and 40-50% of the variation in the birthweight of second-born infants could be explained by the birthweight of the first-born infants. About 85% of the mothers who gave birth to a macrosomic infant had a macrosomic infant in a subsequent pregnancy.


Although it is clear that glycaemic control contributes to birthweight in women with type 1 diabetes, the birthweight of an earlier born infant appears to be a much better predictor of the birthweight of a subsequent infant than HbA1c levels during pregnancy. It may, therefore, be used to identify patients at risk of giving birth to a macrosomic infant. Daily home monitoring of glucose levels, rather than HbA1c levels, should be used for assessment of maternal glycaemia during pregnancy.

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