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Parental type 1 diabetes may affect children’s cognitive development

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Cognitive development in children may be affected regardless of the biological parent with type 1 diabetes, according to research published April 19 in the open-access journal OLP Medicine. Research shows for the first time that having a parent with a chronic condition like type 1 diabetes may be associated with lower school performance rather than high maternal blood sugar levels during fetal development .

The influence of maternal diabetes during pregnancy on the cognition of their children has been widely studied. Glucose crosses the placenta and maternal high blood sugar, high blood sugar, can affect the development of the fetus, including the baby’s brain. There is little evidence on the different subtypes of diabetes and the effect of having a father with type 1 diabetes.

Anne Lærke Spangmose and her colleagues at the University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, obtained data from Danish registers as well as test scores in mathematics for third and sixth graders and reading for second, fourth, sixth and eighth graders. years. The team included 622,073 children aged 6 to 18 attending public schools over a seven-year period. There were 2,144 children of mothers with type 1 diabetes, 3,474 children of fathers with type 1 diabetes, and 616,455 children from the base population. Children of mothers and fathers with type 1 diabetes had mean scores of 54.2 and 54.4 respectively, compared with mean scores of 56.4 for children in the base population.

The team recognizes that having a parent with a serious chronic condition such as diabetes can cause stress and affect a child’s academic performance. However, this study suggests a different explanation for the previously observed adverse effects of maternal type 1 diabetes during pregnancy on children’s cognitive development.

Spangmose adds, “Lower test scores in offspring of mothers with type 1 diabetes appear to reflect a negative association of having a parent with type 1 diabetes rather than a specific adverse effect of maternal type 1 diabetes during pregnancy on the fetus. A Danish cohort study, including 622,073 children, showed this.”

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Material provided by OLP. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.