Higher rates of large-for-gestational-age newborns mediated by excess maternal weight gain in pregnancies with Type 1 diabetes and use of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion vs multiple dose insulin injection

Diabet Med. 2019 Feb;36(2):158-166. doi: 10.1111/dme.13861.


Aims: To compare glycaemic control, maternal and neonatal outcomes in pregnancies with Type 1 diabetes, managed either by continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion, multiple daily insulin injection or switch from multiple daily insulin injection (MDI) to continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) in early pregnancy.

Research design and methods: Data from 339 singleton pregnancies were retrospectively reviewed. HbA1c values were measured preconception and in each trimester. In a secondary analysis, use of CSII pre-pregnancy was compared with initiation of CSII during pregnancy.

Results: MDI was used in 140 pregnancies (41.3%) and CSII was used in 199 (58.7%), including 34 pregnancies (10.0%) during which the women switched to CSII. In pregnancies during which CSII was used duration of diabetes [median (interquartile range) 16.0 (8.0-23.0) years vs 11.0 (5.5-17.5) years; P<0.001] was longer, and the Institute of Medicine recommendations for appropriate weight gain were exceeded more often (64.8% vs. 50.8%; P=0.01). CSII use and pre-pregnancy BMI were independent predictors of excess weight gain. There was no difference in glucose control, but CSII was associated with higher birth weight [median (interquartile range) 3720 (3365-4100) g vs 3360 (3365-4100) g; P<0.001] and higher large-for-gestational-age (LGA) rate (44.7% vs. 33.6%; P=0.04) than MDI. HbA1c concentration in the third trimester and excess weight gain were predictive of LGA infants [odds ratio 2.33 (95% CI 1.54-3.51); P<0.001 and 1.89 (95% CI 1.02-3.51); P=0.04]. In pregnancies where CSII therapy was initiated in the first trimester and in those with pre-pregnancy use, similar glucose control and outcome was achieved.

Conclusions: There was no advantage of CSII with respect to glycaemic control and neonatal outcomes. The rate of LGA neonates was higher in the CSII group, possibly mediated by excess maternal weight gain, which was more frequent than in women treated with MDI.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Fetal Macrosomia / etiology*
  • Gestational Weight Gain / physiology
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin Infusion Systems
  • Maternal Age
  • Preconception Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimesters
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / drug therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin