News Release

Mother's blood sugar measurement associated with baby's congenital heart disease risk

Presentation: 661 - Session: LI.RFO.39

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Heart Association

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 14, 2016 -- For the first time, researchers have shown that the level of blood sugar measured in the first trimester of pregnancy may be associated with the risk of delivering a baby with congenital heart disease, according to a preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2016.

Researchers looked at blood sugar levels measured during the first trimester in a study of 19,107 pregnant women.

They found that for every 10 mg/dL increase in blood sugar, the risk of delivering a baby with congenital heart disease rose about 8 percent.

The association between elevated blood sugar in early pregnancy and congenital heart disease risk was better than the predictive ability of the oral glucose tolerance test, which is currently used to identify mothers at risk for carrying children with congenital heart disease, researchers said.


Emmi Helle, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc. (Economics), Stanford University, Stanford, California.

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