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Body composition and bone status of children born to mothers with type 1 diabetes mellitus
  1. M Z Mughal1,
  2. J Eelloo1,
  3. S A Roberts2,
  4. M Maresh3,
  5. K A Ward4,
  6. R Ashby4,
  7. C P Sibley5,
  8. J E Adams4
  1. 1Department of Paediatric Medicine, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester, UK
  2. 2Biostatistics Group, School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  3. 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, UK
  4. 4Clinical Radiology, Imaging Sciences Research Group, School of Cancer and Imaging Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  5. 5Tommy's Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, Manchester, Research School of Clinical and Laboratory Sciences, The Medical School, University of Manchester, St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Zulf Mughal, Department of Paediatric Medicine, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK; zulf.mughal{at}


Background Altered growth, body composition and abnormalities of skeletal mineralisation have been reported in offspring of mothers with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Aims The authors hypothesised that children born to mothers with type 1 diabetes mellitus (CDM) would be taller, have higher body mass index (BMI), greater fat mass, thicker diaphyseal bone cortices and reduced trabecular bone mineral density (BMD), as compared to those born to non-diabetic mothers.

Methods Anthropometric, body composition and bone parameters were assessed using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and peripheral quantitative CT in 67 white Caucasian CDM (35 boys; age 5–18 years) and in 246 (121 boys) age-matched controls.

Results CDM were taller (p<0.0001), heavier (p<0.0001) and had higher BMI (p=0.02), and had 32% more total body fat mass and 7.5% more total body lean mass than controls. At the total body and lumbar spine (L1–L4) sites, CDM had significantly higher bone area and bone mineral content compared with controls. However, areal BMD at both these sites and lumbar spine bone mineral apparent density were not significantly different in the two groups, indicating that CDM have bigger bones compared with controls but their mineral content per unit area or volume is not substantially different. The distal radial trabecular and total volumetric BMD in CDM was not demonstrably different from controls. At the mid-radius, both periosteal (2.4%; p=0.03) and endosteal circumferences (5.7%; p=0.02) were bigger in CDM compared with controls.

Conclusion The authors speculate that the intrauterine diabetic environment is associated with an increase in linear growth, adiposity and larger bone dimensions during childhood and adolescence.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Central Manchester Local Research Ethics Committee.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.