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Maternal age linked with diabetes among children

Maternal age linked with diabetes among children

A study was carried out to check the association of maternal age at the time of delivery with the risk of childhood diabetes. It was found that older mothers have a risk of type 1 diabetes among their children. Type I Diabetes is also known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. People with this type of diabetes mellitus make little or no insulin in their body, and need regular insulin injections to manage the problem. In a population-based study carried out in Norway for all births between 1974 and 1998, about 1.4 million people were followed up. About 1,824 cases of type 1 diabetes between 1989 and 1998 were identified. It was found that maternal age had no effect on risk of diabetes in firstborn children but became increasingly important in subsequent children. But among fourth born children there was a 43.2% increase in incidence of diabetes for each five-year increase in the maternal age. There was a marked 17.9% reduction in the risk of diabetes when the maternal age was 20-24 years, but the association was much more significant when the maternal age was 30 years or more. Delayed childbearing is also associated with complications in pregnancy, lower birth weight, fetal loss, and perinatal mortality. The relation of maternal age and the risk of type 1 diabetes among children is complex and the mechanisms behind these complex patterns still remain unclear, and needs further studies.
BMJ; Aug 2001, Vol. 323 : (7309)
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