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BMJ. 2006 Jul 22;333(7560):177. Epub 2006 Jun 16.

Perinatal mortality and congenital anomalies in babies of women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland: population based study.

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Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health, London NW1 5SD.



To provide perinatal mortality and congenital anomaly rates for babies born to women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.


National population based pregnancy cohort.


231 maternity units in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.


2359 pregnancies to women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who delivered between 1 March 2002 and 28 February 2003.


Stillbirth rates; perinatal and neonatal mortality; prevalence of congenital anomalies.


Of 2359 women with diabetes, 652 had type 2 diabetes and 1707 had type 1 diabetes. Women with type 2 diabetes were more likely to come from a Black, Asian, or other ethnic minority group (type 2, 48.8%; type 1, 9.1%) and from a deprived area (type 2, 46.3% in most deprived fifth; type 1, 22.8%). Perinatal mortality in babies of women with diabetes was 31.8/1000 births. Perinatal mortality was comparable in babies of women with type 1 (31.7/1000 births) and type 2 diabetes (32.3/1000) and was nearly four times higher than that in the general maternity population. 141 major congenital anomalies were confirmed in 109 offspring. The prevalence of major congenital anomaly was 46/1000 births in women with diabetes (48/1000 births for type 1 diabetes; 43/1000 for type 2 diabetes), more than double that expected. This increase was driven by anomalies of the nervous system, notably neural tube defects (4.2-fold), and congenital heart disease (3.4-fold). Anomalies in 71/109 (65%) offspring were diagnosed antenatally. Congenital heart disease was diagnosed antenatally in 23/42 (54.8%) offspring; anomalies other than congenital heart disease were diagnosed antenatally in 48/67 (71.6%) offspring.


Perinatal mortality and prevalence of congenital anomalies are high in the babies of women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The rates do not seem to differ between the two types of diabetes.

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