Long-term prospective evaluation of offspring of diabetic mothers

B. L. Silverman*, T. Rizzo, O. C. Green, N. H. Cho, R. J. Winter, E. S. Ogata, G. E. Richards, B. E. Metzger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

386 Scopus citations


We have suggested that altered maternal metabolism may affect the subsequent anthropometric and neuropsychological development of children who were in utero during disturbances in maternal fuel economy. This study reports the physical growth through 8 yr of age and the neuropsychological development through 4 yr of age in offspring of diabetic mothers (ODM). At birth, 50% of infants had weights >90th percentile for gestational age. By 12 mo, length and weight were similar to the general population. Height remained normal until 7 yr of age, when it became slightly greater than average. After 5 yr of age, relative weight increased dramatically, and by 8 yr of age, half of the ODM had weights >90th percentile. This childhood obesity in ODM is correlated with maternal prepregnant weight and independently with amniotic fluid insulin at 32-38 wk gestation. The Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (BNBAS) was administered to 185 newborn ODM. Significant correlations were found between poorer second- and third-trimester glycemic regulation and lower scores in three of four newborn BNBAS dimensions. The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale was measured in 102 ODM at 4 yr of age. We found an inverse correlation between childhood IQ and second- and third- trimester maternal lipid metabolism (serum free fatty acids and β- hydroxybutyrate). This correlation is not explained by adverse perinatal events, socioeconomic status, maternal IQ, ethnicity, or diabetes type. These long-range associations between altered maternal metabolism and childhood growth and development continue to support Freinkel's hypothesis of fuel- mediated teratogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-125
Number of pages5
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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