In the News

Diabetes in pregnancy and lung health in offspring: developmental origins of respiratory disease

M.B. Azad, B.L. Moyce, L. Guillemette, C.D. Pascoe, B. Wicklow, J.M. McGavock, A.J. Halayko, and V.W. Dolinsky



To review and summarize existing studies that link diabetes in pregnancy with lung development and respiratory health in offspring.

Determine current knowledge gaps in our understanding of the role gestational diabetes plays in lung development and health.  


Importance/Results: Collectively the studies reviewed provided evidence that exposure to diabetes in utero may have adverse effects on an infant’s lung development. Infants born to mothers with diabetes may experience delayed lung maturation and increased risk for respiratory distress syndrome at birth, and asthma later in childhood.  These findings have been confirmed in rodent models of diabetes in pregnancy. We also determined there were significant gaps in knowledge, specifically in understanding how different types of diabetes affect lung development (Type-1 vs. Type-2 vs. Gestational) and the mechanisms through which the adverse effects occur.


Why or how is this research important to practitioners and/or patients: It is important for practitioners to be aware that their diabetic patients who become pregnant may deliver newborns with impaired lung development and poor respiratory health.


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