High Blood Sugar in Pregnant Women May Increase Risk of Congenital Heart Defects

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New Jersey Birth Injury Lawyer Diabetes remains a significant health concern among Americans, bringing a host of complications including cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, loss of vision, and many other devastating symptoms if left uncontrolled. Similarly, gestational diabetes can spell catastrophic and even life-threatening consequences for mother and child if left untreated. A new study, published during November, which is National Diabetes Awareness Month, has added to the existing body of research related to diabetes, revealing that elevated blood sugar levels in pregnant women may lead to an increased risk for congenital heart defects in their unborn children.

The aforementioned report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics, after researchers conducted a study at Stanford University Medical Center over four years, utilizing the blood samples of 277 California women. The subjects in the study, each of whom were in their second trimester of pregnancy, had their levels of glucose and insulin measured to determine the potential for an association between these levels and the likelihood of having a baby with a heart defect.

Among the 277 women in the study, 180 were carrying healthy infants who did not present with a congenital heart defect; while 55 were carrying babies with tetralogy of fallot, a congenital heart defect that involves the delivery of too little oxygen; and 42 were carrying babies with dextro-transposition of the great arteries, another congenital heart defect that occurs when the blood pathway to the heart is impaired because the two arteries are connecting to the wrong chambers in the heart.

Ultimately, the study revealed a link between higher average blood glucose levels in expectant mothers and infants who had tetralogy of fallot. On the other hand, there was no significant relationship between higher average blood glucose levels in expectant mothers and dextro-transpostition of the great arteries in infants. Essentially, this research illustrates that pregnant women with elevated blood sugar levels, even if they do not meet the current diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes, may have an increased risk of having a baby with a congenital heart defect.

The potential dangers of high blood glucose and gestational diabetes for both mother and child underscores the necessity for diligent monitoring throughout pregnancy. When OB-GYN’s, physicians, and other medical professionals who are tasked with monitoring the health and well-being of expectant mothers fail to detect and address these issues, the results can be tragic. If you or your baby has suffered a birth injury due to the negligence of a health professional, contact Fronzuto Law Group for immediate assistance. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing victims of medical and pediatric malpractice and we are always available to answer your questions free of charge.

To read the study in its entirety, access the following link: Maternal Midpregnancy Glucose Levels and Risk of Congenital Heart Disease in Offspring

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