Diabetes Mellitus and Birth Defects

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Sep;199(3):237.e1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2008.06.028. Epub 2008 Jul 31.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine associations between diabetes mellitus and 39 birth defects.

Study design: This was a multicenter case-control study of mothers of infants who were born with (n = 13,030) and without (n = 4895) birth defects in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (1997-2003).

Results: Pregestational diabetes mellitus (PGDM) was associated significantly with noncardiac defects (isolated, 7/23 defects; multiples, 13/23 defects) and cardiac defects (isolated, 11/16 defects; multiples, 8/16 defects). Adjusted odds ratios for PGDM and all isolated and multiple defects were 3.17 (95% CI, 2.20-4.99) and 8.62 (95% CI, 5.27-14.10), respectively. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) was associated with fewer noncardiac defects (isolated, 3/23 defects; multiples, 3/23 defects) and cardiac defects (isolated, 3/16 defects; multiples, 2/16 defects). Odds ratios between GDM and all isolated and multiple defects were 1.42 (95% CI, 1.17-1.73) and 1.50 (95% CI, 1.13-2.00), respectively. These associations were limited generally to offspring of women with prepregnancy body mass index > or =25 kg/m(2).

Conclusion: PGDM was associated with a wide range of birth defects; GDM was associated with a limited group of birth defects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Congenital Abnormalities / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / epidemiology*