Diabetes during pregnancy may increase the risk of kidney-related birth defects

Expectant mothers who are obese or have type 2 diabetes are significantly more likely to have children with chronic kidney disease, according to a new study from University of Washington researchers.

Their findings, which were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology, indicate that children born to diabetic mothers have substantially elevated risk of developing chronic kidney problems in childhood.

After analyzing the medical records of more than 4,000 children with chronic kidney disease and their mothers, researchers found that children of diabetic mothers were 69 percent more likely to develop the condition. Additionally, these children were 700 percent more likely to develop other kidney-related birth defects.

"Our research shows that childhood chronic kidney disease is modestly associated with maternal diabetes and maternal overweight or obesity, with the strongest association between abnormal kidney development and maternal diabetes," said Christine Hsu, who led the study.

However, Hsu added that expectant mothers who have type 2 diabetes may be able to limit their risk for giving birth to a child with kidney problems by maintaining tight control over their condition.
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