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Diabetologia. 2010 Oct;53(10):2134-8. doi: 10.1007/s00125-010-1847-0. Epub 2010 Jul 8.

Childhood cognitive ability: relationship to gestational diabetes mellitus in India.

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  • 1Epidemiology Research Unit, Holdsworth Memorial Hospital, Mandi Mohalla, P.O. Box 38, Mysore 570021, India.



Our aim was to test the hypothesis that gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in mothers is associated with poorer cognitive ability in their offspring in India.


During 1997 to 1998 maternal GDM status was assessed by OGTT at 30 +/- 2 weeks of gestation. Between 2007 and 2008, at a mean age of 9.7 years, 515 children (32 offspring of GDM mothers [ODM]; 483 offspring of non-GDM mothers [controls]) from the Mysore Parthenon birth cohort underwent cognitive function assessment using tests from the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children--Second Edition and additional tests measuring learning, long-term storage/retrieval, short-term memory, reasoning, attention and concentration, and visuo-spatial and verbal abilities.


Compared with controls, ODM scored higher in tests for learning, long-term retrieval/storage (p = 0.008), reasoning (p = 0.02), verbal ability (p = 0.01), and attention and concentration (p = 0.003). In multiple regression, adjusted for the child's age, sex, gestation, neonatal weight and head circumference, maternal age, parity and BMI, and the parent's socioeconomic status, education and rural/urban residence, this difference remained significant only for learning, long-term retrieval/storage (beta = 0.4 SD (95% CI 0.01-0.75); p = 0.04) and verbal ability (beta = 0.5 SD (95% CI 0.09-0.83); p = 0.02), and not with other test scores.


In this population of healthy Indian children, there was no evidence of lower cognitive ability in ODM. In fact some cognitive scores were higher in ODM.

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