Research Article

Increased incidence of true type I diabetes acquired during pregnancy.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.294.6567.275 (Published 31 January 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:275
  1. K Buschard,
  2. I Buch,
  3. L Mølsted-Pedersen,
  4. P Hougaard,
  5. C Kühl

    Abstract

    A longitudinal study was carried out of all patients with newly acquired insulin dependent diabetes during pregnancy (as distinct from non-insulin-dependent gestational diabetes) seen at the Copenhagen Centre for Diabetes and Pregnancy during 1966 to 1980. The series comprised 63 patients with a mean age of 27 (SEM 1) years. At diagnosis the mean fasting blood glucose concentration was 15.6 (1.3) mmol/l and mean maximal insulin dose 49 (3) IU/day. At a prospective follow up examination a mean of 8 (SEM 1) years after diagnosis 46 of 60 patients (77%) were being treated with insulin (35 (2) IU/day) and had a very low mean stimulated plasma C peptide value (0.12 (0.02) nmol/l) suggesting absent or nearly absent beta cell function. The remaining 14 patients (23%), not currently receiving insulin, appeared to be severely glucose intolerant, having a mean fasting blood glucose concentration of 13.4 (1.2) mmol/l. Thus most of these patients developing insulin dependent diabetes during pregnancy had true type I disease. Compared with the age specific incidence of type I diabetes in the background population of women the incidence was at least 70% higher in pregnant than non-pregnant women (p less than 0.001; chi 2 = 11.6; f = 1). This increased incidence occurred in the third trimester when the risk of developing type I diabetes was 3.8 times that of non-pregnant women (p less than 0.000001; chi 2 = 35.6; f = 1). Finally, the risk of developing insulin dependent diabetes during pregnancy was lower when conception occurred in the winter (p less than 0.05; chi 2 = 4.18; f = 1).