(HealthDay News) — Maternal midpregnancy measures of glucose and insulin are associated with two different congenital heart disease phenotypes, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics.

James R. Priest, MD, from the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute in California, and colleagues examined the potential correlation of two different congenital heart disease phenotypes in offspring with maternal midpregnancy measures of glucose and insulin. 

Data were included from 277 pregnant women carrying infants with tetralogy of Fallot (TOF; n=55), infants with dextrotransposition of the great arteries (dTGA; n=42), and healthy infants without congenital heart disease (n=180).

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The researchers found that maternal samples for offspring with TOF had elevated serum glucose values relative to controls (P=.01); this was not seen in maternal samples for offspring with dTGA relative to controls (P=.18). 

There was a significant difference between serum insulin levels in controls vs offspring with dTGA (P=.048) but not TOF (P=.35). 

In models including insulin, maternal blood glucose levels correlated strongly with odds of TOF (adjusted odds ratio, 7.54; 95% confidence interval, 2.3-24.69) but not dTGA (adjusted odds ratio, 1.16; 95% confidence interval, 0.28 to 4.79) relative to maternal blood glucose levels of infants without cardiac malformations.

“These results represent a direct correlation of glucose as a continuous variable to odds of specific cardiac malformations,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Priest JR, Yang W, Reaven G, Knowles JW, Shaw GM. Maternal Midpregnancy Glucose Levels and Risk of Congenital Heart Disease in Offspring. JAMA Pediatr. 2015;doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.2831.