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Aurora magazine

Glucose during pregnancy and congenital heart disease

A study at Stanford University suggests a link between high levels of glucose in pregnancy and congenital heart disease. The discovery could help identify women whose children are most at risk, so as to direct them towards a specific prenatal screening.

The researchers measured levels of sugar than 19,107 pregnant women, starting from four weeks before conception until the end of the first quarter. Of these 74 they were suffering from gestational diabetes and 811 of congenital heart disease. The mean glucose level in healthy women was 96 mg / dl, 107 mg / dl in women with heart disease. They then crossed the data with any diagnosis of congenital heart disease in children.

Every 10 milligrams per deciliter of more, the risk that the child born with congenital heart disease saliva. Scientists have also detected the phenomenon in patients without other risk factors, such as too high body mass, age, and diabetes. Between weeks 24 and 28, however, the phenomenon has declined. From this time, in fact, the blood glucose levels are untied results from the development of heart disease or less in the child.

The discovery could help develop new methods for prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease. Enough glucose analysis in the first weeks of pregnancy to see if it is appropriate to go deeper. Despite many cardiac diseases are detectable with a simple echocardiography, it is difficult that a mother-to perform these tests without specific reasons.

One of the questions raised by the discovery, is the nature of the relationship between glucose levels and heart disease. Abnormally high levels of glucose cause the development of congenital diseases, or are a symptom of other phenomena in progress? other studies will be needed to find out.