Diabetes, Heart, and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.      Article 295

The Enhanced The Risk Of Congenital Heart Diseases (CHD) With Gestational Diabetes In Pregnancy


The leading non-genetic risk factor for the congenital heart disease in a newborn child is maternal diabetes (diabetes during the pregnancy or gestational diabetes). A study by the researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), shows five times enhanced the risk of congenital heart disease and the heart condition of a child born to a woman with diabetes during the pregnancy. Other health complications with maternal diabetes affecting the heart development of the fetus are.

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Congenital heart diseases (CHD), vasculopathy, insulin resistance and neuropathy with gestational diabetes.

The researchers say that the high blood sugar (glucose) levels are harmful to the mother as well as to the fetus. Gestational diabetes (GD) can cause extra sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream during the pregnancy and can prevent the growth of the heart cells instead of helping them in the growth. A hindrance to the growth of the heart cells can translate into two to five times increased the risk of congenital heart disease in a newborn child.

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The researchers have replicated the cardiomyocytes with human embryonic cells in the laboratory. They conducted an experiment with cardiomyocytes by exposing them to different levels of glucose. They found a normal growth in those cardiomyocytes which were exposed to normal glucose levels (equal to the blood sugar levels in a person without diabetes). But the researchers have observed no maturity or late maturity in those cardiomyocytes which were exposed to high glucose levels (equal to the blood sugar levels in a patient of diabetes).

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An experimental study with the pregnant mice models of type 2 diabetes was also similar to the results of the laboratory experiment.

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Healthcare professionals are identifying a patient with a congenital heart disease using advanced techniques, tests and devices. The number of patients with congenital heart disease is increasing at nearly five percent per year.

Authors say that this study can help in understanding the development of congenital heart disease in a baby due to the maternal diabetes risk factor (a non-genetic factor) in the pregnant woman. New therapies can be developed by understanding the mechanism involved in the development of the diseases in the fetus with the high blood sugar (glucose) levels (gestational or maternal diabetes) of the mother.

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The author of the study was Atsushi Nakano, MD, Ph.D., an Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The study was published on December 12, 2017, in the eLife. Title of the article was "Glucose inhibits cardiac muscle maturation through nucleotide biosynthesis."
DOI: doi.org/10.7554/eLife.29330.002

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Cardiomyocytes: These are cells of the heart (or cardiac) muscle and the heart chamber. Cardiomyocytes is also known as cardiac myocytes or myocardiocytes. There are three types of cardiomyocytes.

These muscles can help the heart in pumping the blood from the heart chambers. Heart helps in circulating the blood throughout our body.

Neuropathy: See diabetic neuropathy.

Vasculopathy: Any disease affecting the blood vessels is called vasculopathy.


Published on January 21, 2018


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