LONDON: Children of mothers with Type-1 diabetes are at significantly higher risk of being overweight and of exhibiting insulin resistance, new research has found.
“Our study shows that children of mothers with Type-1 diabetes are not only at significantly higher risk of having the condition itself, but are also at greater risk of being overweight and developing insulin resistance,” said one of the researchers Anette-Gabriele Ziegler from Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen – German Research Center for Environmental Health, Munich-Neuherberg.
“We would therefore advise that paediatricians should bear this correlation in mind, so that they can react on early warning signs in such children,” Ziegler added.
The findings, published in the journal Diabetologia, were based on data from nearly 2,800 children with a first-degree relative with Type-1 diabetes.
“Their metabolic status and body weight were tracked up to the age of 18,” said lead author Anitha Pitchika from Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen.
Type-1 diabetes is the most common metabolic disorder in childhood. It was already known that children of parents with Type-1 diabetes are at much higher risk of developing the disease than the rest of the population.
“Moreover, there were also sporadic indications from previous studies that children of mothers with Type-1 diabetes are also at increased risk of having metabolic syndrome, as the intermittent high blood glucose levels in the uterus appear to have long-term effects on the child’s metabolism and body weight,” explained Andreas Beyerlein from Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen.
In this study, the researchers investigated this hypothesis with a large dataset and found that children of mothers with Type-1 diabetes had a significantly higher body mass index than children from mothers without diabetes.