Women with diabetes associated with cystic fibrosis (CF) do not risk their disease worsening by becoming pregnant. Their children also are not affected by the presence of diabetes, according to a study by researchers at the University of Lyon in France.
The only significant difference the study found between CF women with and without diabetes was that cesarean sections were more common in diabetic women. This suggests that poor blood sugar control does not pose a risk to either a CF-affected mother or her child.
The study, “Pregnancy outcome in women with cystic fibrosis-related diabetes,” was published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.
Diabetes in CF is considered a potential risk factor for poorer disease outcomes, including an increase in pulmonary exacerbations and poorer nutrition. Previous studies looking at pregnancy in CF seldom included analyses of risk factors.
To analyze the impact of diabetes in CF pregnancies, the research team recruited women with and without diabetes from a French CF registry. These women were pregnant with their first child. To make comparisons clearer, the study only included women who were followed for two years after delivery and who hadn’t become pregnant again.
Among 189 women who had their first child, 29 had diabetes before becoming pregnant.
Researchers noted some differences between the groups. With an average age of 29, women with diabetes tended to be older than those without it, by an average of three years. They also had more severe lung disease and weighed slightly, but insignificantly, less.
Diabetic women more often required assisted conception, researchers said. But the difference — 53.8% of diabetic women compared with 34.5% of nondiabetic women — was not statistically significant.
All of the children survived delivery. Cesarean sections were significantly more frequent among diabetic women (48%) than their non-diabetic counterparts (21.4%). Rates of premature births were similar in the two groups, as were birth weights.
Although diabetic women had poorer lung function at the outset, the pregnancy did not trigger accelerated decline compared with non-diabetic CF women. They also maintained their weight, researchers said.
Because new CF therapies allow more women to live longer and to become pregnant, these findings contribute to knowledge about the safety of CF pregnancies, allowing diabetic women to become pregnant without worrying about negative consequences, researchers concluded.