Is the child at risk? Cardiovascular remodelling in children born to diabetic mothers

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health; Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Medicine


Objective: The objective of this study was to assess differences in myocardial systolic and diastolic function and vascular function in children 2-5 years of age born to diabetic as compared to non-diabetic mothers.
Methods: This study was a retrospective cohort conducted in 2016 at The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. It included children between 2 and 5 years of age born to mothers with and without exposure to diabetes in utero (n = 68 in each group) and who were appropriate for gestational age. Myocardial morphology and function using echocardiogram and carotid intima media thickness (cIMT) and pulse wave velocity was performed to evaluate cardiac function as well as macrovascular remodelling in these children. Multiple linear regression was used to compare the groups.
Results: There was no significant difference in cardiac morphology, myocardial systolic and diastolic function, and macrovascular assessment between the exposed and unexposed groups of AGA children. Subgroup analysis demonstrated a significantly decreased mitral E/A ratio in children whose mothers were on medications as compared to those on dietary control (median [IQR] = 1.7 [1.6-1.9] and 1.56 [1.4-1.7], respectively, p = 0.02), and a higher cIMT in children whose mothers were on medication as compared to controls (0.48 [0.44-0.52] and 0.46 [0.44-0.50], respectively, p = 0.03).
Conclusion: In utero exposure to uncontrolled maternal diabetes has an effect on the cardiovascular structure and function in children aged 2-5 years. However, future work requires long-term follow-up from fetal to adult life to assess these changes over the life course.


Cardiology in the Young