METHODS: A retrospective cohort of singleton deliveries to mothers with type 1 (n = 3778) and type 2 diabetes (n = 1614) from 1 April 1998 to 30 June 2016 was analysed using linked routine care datasets. Maternal and fetal characteristics, HbA1c data and delivery timing were compared between stillborn and liveborn groups.
RESULTS: Stillbirth rates were 16.1 (95% CI 12.4, 20.8) and 22.9 (95% CI 16.4, 31.8) per 1000 births in women with type 1 (n = 61) and type 2 diabetes (n = 37), respectively. In women with type 1 diabetes, higher HbA1c before pregnancy (OR 1.03 [95% CI 1.01, 1.04]; p = 0.0003) and in later pregnancy (OR 1.06 [95% CI 1.04, 1.08]; p < 0.0001) were associated with stillbirth, while in women with type 2 diabetes, higher maternal BMI (OR 1.07 [95% CI 1.01, 1.14]; p = 0.02) and pre-pregnancy HbA1c (OR 1.02 [95% CI 1.00, 1.04]; p = 0.016) were associated with stillbirth. Risk was highest in infants with birthweights <10th centile (sixfold higher born to women with type 1 diabetes [n = 5 stillbirths, 67 livebirths]; threefold higher for women with type 2 diabetes [n = 4 stillbirths, 78 livebirths]) compared with those in the 10th-90th centile (n = 20 stillbirths, 1685 livebirths). Risk was twofold higher in infants with birthweights >95th centile born to women with type 2 diabetes (n = 15 stillbirths, 402 livebirths). A high proportion of stillborn infants were male among mothers with type 2 diabetes (81.1% vs 50.5% livebirths, p = 0.0002). A third of stillbirths occurred at term, with highest rates in the 38th week (7.0 [95% CI 3.7, 12.9] per 1000 ongoing pregnancies) among mothers with type 1 diabetes and in the 39th week (9.3 [95% CI 2.4, 29.2]) for type 2 diabetes.
CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Maternal blood glucose levels and BMI are important modifiable risk factors for stillbirth in diabetes. Babies at extremes of weight centiles are at most risk. Many stillbirths occur at term and could potentially be prevented by change in routine care and delivery policies.
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- Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences - Chair of Medical Informatics and Epidemiology
- MRC Human Genetics Unit
- Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine
Person: Academic: Research Active