School performance in Danish children exposed to maternal type 1 diabetes in utero: A nationwide retrospective cohort study

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Background Conflicting results have been reported concerning possible adverse effects on the cognitive function of offspring of mothers with type 1 diabetes (O-mT1D). Previous studies have included offspring of parents from the background population (O-BP), but not offspring of fathers with type 1 diabetes (O-fT1D) as the unexposed reference group. Methods and findings This is: a population-based retrospective cohort study from 2010 to 2016. Nationally stan- dardized school test scores (range, 1 to 100) were obtained for public school grades 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 in O-mT1D and compared with those in O-fT1D and O-BP. Of the 622,073 included children, 2,144 were O-mT1D, and 3,474 were O-fT1D. Multiple linear regression models were used to compare outcomes, including the covariates offspring with type 1 diabetes, parity, number of siblings, offspring sex, smoking during pregnancy, parental age, and socioeconomic factors. Mean test scores were 54.2 (standard deviation, SD 24.8) in OmT1D, 54.4 (SD 24.8) in O-fT1D, and 56.4 (SD 24.7) in O-BP. In adjusted analyses, the mean differences in test scores were −1.59 (95% CI −2.48 to −0.71, p < 0.001) between OmT1D and O-BP and −0.78 (95% CI −1.48 to −0.08, p = 0.03) between O-fT1D and O-BP. No significant difference in the adjusted mean test scores was found between O-mT1D and O-fT1D (p = 0.16). The study’s limitation was no access to measures of glycemic control during pregnancy. Conclusions O-mT1D achieved lower test scores than O-BP but similar test scores compared with OfT1D. Glycemic control during pregnancy is essential to prevent various adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with type 1 diabetes. However, the present study reduces previous concerns regarding adverse effects of in utero hyperglycemia on offspring cognitive function.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1003977
JournalPLoS Medicine
Volume19
Issue number4 April
ISSN1549-1277
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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© 2022 Spangmose et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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