Intended for healthcare professionals

Clinical Research

Early growth delay in diabetic pregnancy: relation to psychomotor development at age 4

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 27 February 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:598
  1. Minna Bloch Petersen,
  2. Søren Anker Pedersen,
  3. Gorm Greisen,
  4. Jan Fog Pedersen,
  5. Lars Mølsted-Pedersen


    Ninety nine consecutive insulin dependent and 101 non-diabetic pregnant women were examined by ultrasonograph to assess early fetal growth. In 42 of the diabetic mothers and three of the non-diabetic mothers the scan showed early intrauterine growth delay. At 4-5 years of age all children available for study were evaluated by the Denver developmental screening test. Only 23 of the 34 children of diabetic mothers with early intrauterine growth delay had normal test scores compared with 46 of the 50 children of diabetic mothers with normal intrauterine growth. The children failed in personal-social development, gross motor development, and particularly in language and speech development. Children of diabetic mothers with normal early fetal growth had scores very similar to those of the children of non-diabetic mothers, of whom 76 of the 86 tested had normal scores.

    This study suggests that children with a history of growth delay in early diabetic pregnancy should be screened for possible developmental impairment.