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Fertility Rates in Swedish Diabetic Women Normalized

Complications successfully reduced, although rates of congenital malformations remain high

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Measures to reduce pregnancy complications among Swedish women with type 1 diabetes over the past 20 years have normalized fertility rates among those without diabetic complications, researchers report in the September issue of Diabetes Care.

Junmei Miao Jonasson, M.D., of Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues used public health records to follow 5,978 women hospitalized for type 1 diabetes at the age of 16 or younger between 1965 and 2004. A standardized fertility ratio (SFR) was applied to determine the number of expected versus actual births.

The investigators found that 4,013 live births were observed with a SFR of 0.80. The SFRs for the women who had retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy or cardiovascular complications were 0.63, 0.54, 0.50 and 0.34, respectively. The proportion of live newborns with congenital malformations born to women with type 1 diabetes decreased over the study period, but even in recent years remained at twice the level of those in the general population.

These results suggest that "the new strategy with more rigorous metabolic control instituted in the mid- or late-1980s has been successful also with regard to fertility," the authors conclude.

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