There is general consensus that children of women with pre-existing diabetes mellitus (PDM) have an increased risk of malformations and neurodevelopmental problems. Whether this is also true for children of women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a matter of debate. This study investigated inpatient hospital care up to 10 y of age of children born to GDM and PDM women as a rough estimate of child morbidity. Hospital care of children born to 82 684 GDM women, 3874 PDM women and 1213 957 controls was compared by linking the Swedish Medical Birth Registry with the Hospital Discharge Registry. Similar comparisons were performed in a local well-controlled group of 326 children born to GDM women in the Lund area. Children of PDM women and to a lesser degree children of GDM women had a statistically significant increase in hospitalizations, evident at least up to 10 y of age. Significantly increased risks of hospitalization were found for neurological/developmental disorders [odds ratio (OR) 2.30 and 1.36 for PDM and GDM, respectively)], malformations (OR 2.05 and 1.23), infections (OR 1.56 and 1.20) and accidents (OR 1.32 and 1.14).
Conclusion: The high hospitalization rates of these children indicate an increased morbidity, including neurodevelopmental disorders.