||Last Updated: Nov 12th, 2006 - 20:38:00
Routinely checking the blood calcium level of every infant born to diabetic mothers may not be justified, according to a new study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting in Atlanta.
High blood sugar levels in pregnant women may lead to hypocalcaemia (low calcium) in newborns, which can cause serious problems such as seizure. Low calcium can be resulted from a number of risk factors and health conditions such as prematurity, stress, infection, maternal diabetes, and some medications. The long-term low calcium supply may result in poor bone formation.
Dr. Samrat U. Das of the Metropolitan Hospital Center in New York was quoted as telling Reuters Health that the study suggests only infants born to mothers who have been diabetic before their pregnancy and those born to mothers who had very high blood sugar during the pregnancy.
Dr. Das and Dr. Pratibha Ankola analyzed serum calcium levels 24 hours after birth in 43 infants of mothers who developed diabetes during pregnancy and 6 infants born to mothers who had diabetes before pregnancy.
They found that only one of the 43 newborns or 2.3 percent born to mothers with diabetes acquired during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) developed hypocalcaemia. Reviewing the blood sugar control patterns, Das and Ankola found this infant's mother did not well control her blood sugar level during pregnancy.
In contrast, two of the six infants or 33 percent born to mothers who acquired diabetes before pregnancy (pre-gestational diabetes) had hypocalcaemia.
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