October 14 (NWN) – Babies born to mothers with diabetes during pregnancy are at a higher risk of mental health problems as they get older, according to a study published Thursday by the JAMA Network Open.
Data showed that mothers with type 1 or 2 diabetes or who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy are 15% more likely to have children with mental illness later in life than mothers who did not have diabetes at birth. …
This includes a 55% higher risk of schizophrenia, a disorder that causes hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and disorganized thinking.
Diabetes during pregnancy also increases the risk of anxiety disorders in offspring by just over 20%, and mental and developmental disabilities by almost 30%.
In addition, children of mothers diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy have a 17% higher risk of behavioral disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, according to the researchers.
“Women who intend to become pregnant, have diabetes and are pregnant should understand the importance of healthy glycemic levels for their own health and the mental health of their children,” study co-author Raquel Nogueira Avelar and Silva told NWN.
“Overall, our results demonstrate the importance of effective public health strategies for the prevention, screening and treatment of diabetes in women of fertile age,” said Avelar and Silva, Research Fellow at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark.
While it is still not known why babies born to mothers who develop diabetes during pregnancy are at a higher risk of these mental health problems, “women with diabetes should be closely monitored and treated during pregnancy,” said she.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, up to 2% of pregnant women have type 1 or 2 diabetes before becoming pregnant, and up to 9% develop gestational diabetes or high blood sugar.
However, according to agency estimates and other studies, these numbers have increased by 40-50% since 2000.
The CDC says diabetes during pregnancy can negatively affect the health of women and their babies.
For example, for women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, for example, high blood sugar during conception increases the risk of birth defects, stillbirth, and premature birth in the newborn.
In addition, in any type of diabetes, high blood sugar during pregnancy increases a woman’s risk of having a caesarean section and increases the risk of obesity or type 2 diabetes in newborns as they age, the agency said.
For this study, Avelar and Silva and her colleagues analyzed data on 2.4 million children born in Denmark between 1978 and 2016 and traced them back to age 39.
Of the infants included in the study, just over 56,000 were born to mothers with diabetes, including about 23,000 with type 1 diabetes, 7,000 with type 2 diabetes, and 26,000 with gestational diabetes.
The data showed that during the follow-up period, 151,000 children, or just over 6% of children born to mothers with some form of diabetes, were diagnosed with a mental disorder.
“My team and I believe that the best way women can minimize their risk and the risk of their children is by adopting diabetes prevention behaviors in the first place,” said Avelar and Silva.
“For women who already have diabetes, the best way to minimize risks is to closely monitor and treat their glycemic levels,” she said.