The latest study on the effects of high blood sugar during pregnancy found that not only does diabetes in pregnancy raises the odds for congenital heart defects but the threat may also extend to women who simply have high blood sugar levels — not just full-blown diabetes.
Among women who did not have diabetes before or during pregnancy, the risk of having a child with a congenital heart defect rose 8 percent for every 10 milligrams-per-deciliter increase in blood sugar (glucose) levels in the early stages of pregnancy, the researchers found.
The study is a retrospective look at medical records — not the “gold standard” prospective trial that’s needed to prove cause-and-effect, said Dr. Michael Grosso, chair of pediatrics at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y. “The findings now need to be replicated in a prospective study to be sure that the association is truly causal,” Grosso said.
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The study appears in the Dec. 15 online edition of The Journal of Pediatrics.
SOURCES: Barry Goldberg, M.D., chief, pediatric cardiology, Southside Hospital, Bay Shore, N.Y.; Michael Grosso, M.D., chair, pediatrics, and chief medical officer, Huntington Hospital, Huntington, N.Y.; Stanford University, news release, Dec. 14, 2017
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