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T1DM in Either Parent Tied to Lower Academic Test Scores in Offspring

Similar adverse effect on school performance seen for children of mother or father with type 1 diabetes

THURSDAY, April 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Offspring of mothers with type 1 diabetes have lower school test scores than the general population but similar test scores to offspring of fathers with type 1 diabetes, according to a study published online April 26 in PLOS Medicine.

Anne Lærke Spangmose, M.D., from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues compared school test scores for public school grades 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 between offspring of mothers with type 1 diabetes (2,144 children), offspring of fathers with type 1 diabetes (3,474 children), and the general population (616,455 children).

The researchers found that mean test scores were 54.2 (out of 100) in offspring of mothers with type 1 diabetes, 54.4 in offspring of fathers with type 1 diabetes, and 56.4 in the general population. The mean differences in test scores were −1.59 between offspring of mothers with type 1 diabetes and the general population and −0.78 between offspring of fathers with type 1 diabetes and the general population in an adjusted analysis. There was no significant difference in the adjusted mean test scores between offspring of mothers and fathers with type 1 diabetes.

“These results are reassuring for women with type 1 diabetes, as one of their main concerns is whether dysregulation of diabetes during their pregnancy may cause impaired cognitive development in their coming children,” the authors write. “This study is, to our knowledge, the first to present evidence of an alternative explanation for the previously observed adverse effect of maternal type 1 diabetes during pregnancy on offspring cognitive development.”

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