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Am J Med Genet. 1998 Jun 30;78(2):140-5.

Epidemiological analysis of outcomes of pregnancy in gestational diabetic mothers.

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ECEMC and Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain.


The association between maternal diabetes mellitus and congenital defects has been well documented. However, few data exist on the potential teratogenic effect of gestational diabetes (GD). We analyzed 19,577 consecutive infants with malformations of unknown cause and compared the offspring of mothers with GD with those of nondiabetic mothers. The children with each of 20 types of selected anomalies among the two groups were used to calculate the odds ratio (OR). Because we used as a reference group for each congenital defect the rest of malformed infants, the value of the OR gives us the specificity between the association of GD and each congenital defect. Our analysis strongly supports the suggestion that GD is a significant risk for holoprosencephaly, upper/lower spine/rib, and renal and urinary system anomalies. GD is a heterogeneous disorder, which includes previously unrecognized and newly diagnosed nongestational diabetes mellitus (DM). Thus, it is possible that the teratogenic effect is related to latent DM. However, because it is not possible at this time to differentiate between these situations, pregnancies complicated by GD should be considered at risk for congenital anomalies. Prenatal ultrasound examination should be aimed particularly at the detection of abnormalities of the central nervous system, the renal and urinary system, and the spine/rib developmental field.

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