Birth weight and length of 122 surviving babies of diabetics, born in Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen 1926–1947, was compared to a control group of 122 infants of non-diabetics (matched controls). The groups were comparable, especially as to foetal age and parity of the mother, severe complications in the mothers, etc.
The average foetal age was 261 days (range 237–301). The average weight and length for the infants of non-diab. controls was 3045 gm. and 49.5 cm., for infants of diabetics 3600 gm. and 51.0 cm. Thus on average infants of diabetics weigh 550 gm. more and are 1.5 cm. longer than are infants of non-diab. Differences of the same magnitude were found in primiparae and in multiparae with and without obesity.
The frequency distribution curves for weight and length are nearly normal, but placed at higher levels than are those of non-diab. infants. Diabetics get big and small infants as others, but the whole population is bigger than that of non-diabetics' infants. There is an actual overgrowth.
In a personal series from 1946–1953 75 infants of long-term treated (1. t.) were compared to 91 infants of short-term treated (sh. t.) diabetics. The foetal age was 237 days or more, on average 260 days. Average weight and length for 1. t. infants was 3380 gm. and 50.5 cm., for sh. t. 3570 gm. and 51.3 cm. Thus the 1. t. infants on average weighed 190 gm. less and were 0.8 cm. shorter than sh. t. infants. So far these differences are not statistically significant, but an inverse correlation between the length of the last consecutive stay of the mother in Department B and the infants' weight and length could be demon
I. Published in extenso in Acta endocrinol. 16, 330, 1954.
strated. As the length of stay increases, weight and length decreases. This indicates the differences found to be due to the length of our treatment.
As there is a positive correlation between the maternal pregnancy level of blood sugar (foetal glucose supply) during the last 6–7 weeks of pregnancy and the birth weight and length of infants of non-diabetic controls, 1. t. and sh. t. diabetics, the maternal pregnancy level may play a part of its own for the differences found in weight and length of the infants in these 3 groups.
The maternal blood sugar level may influence weight and length of the infants directly (foetal glucose consumption) but also indirectly (foetal insulin turn-over rising with a rising supply of glucose), as foetal insulin may act as a growth stimulating factor.