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School performance in Danish children exposed to maternal type 1 diabetes in utero: A nationwide retrospective cohort study

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  • Anne Lærke Spangmose, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Niels Skipper
  • Sine Knorr
  • Tina Wullum Gundersen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Rikke Beck Jensen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Peter Damm, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Erik Lykke Mortensen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Anja Pinborg, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Jannet Svensson, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Tine Clausen, University of Copenhagen

BACKGROUND: Conflicting results have been reported concerning possible adverse effects on the cognitive function of offspring of mothers with type 1 diabetes (O-mT1D). Previous studies have included offspring of parents from the background population (O-BP), but not offspring of fathers with type 1 diabetes (O-fT1D) as the unexposed reference group. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This is a population-based retrospective cohort study from 2010 to 2016. Nationally standardized school test scores (range, 1 to 100) were obtained for public school grades 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 in O-mT1D and compared with those in O-fT1D and O-BP. Of the 622,073 included children, 2,144 were O-mT1D, and 3,474 were O-fT1D. Multiple linear regression models were used to compare outcomes, including the covariates offspring with type 1 diabetes, parity, number of siblings, offspring sex, smoking during pregnancy, parental age, and socioeconomic factors. Mean test scores were 54.2 (standard deviation, SD 24.8) in O-mT1D, 54.4 (SD 24.8) in O-fT1D, and 56.4 (SD 24.7) in O-BP. In adjusted analyses, the mean differences in test scores were -1.59 (95% CI -2.48 to -0.71, p < 0.001) between O-mT1D and O-BP and -0.78 (95% CI -1.48 to -0.08, p = 0.03) between O-fT1D and O-BP. No significant difference in the adjusted mean test scores was found between O-mT1D and O-fT1D (p = 0.16). The study's limitation was no access to measures of glycemic control during pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS: O-mT1D achieved lower test scores than O-BP but similar test scores compared with O-fT1D. Glycemic control during pregnancy is essential to prevent various adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with type 1 diabetes. However, the present study reduces previous concerns regarding adverse effects of in utero hyperglycemia on offspring cognitive function.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1003977
JournalPLOS Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

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