To evaluate the associations between maternal diabetes diagnosed before or during pregnancy and early onset cardiovascular disease (CVD) in offspring during their first four decades of life.
..Offspring of mothers with diabetes had a 29% increased overall rate of early onset CVD (hazard ratio 1.29 (95% confidence interval 1.21 to 1.37); cumulative incidence among offspring unexposed to maternal diabetes at 40 years of age 13.07% (12.92% to 13.21%), difference in cumulative incidence between exposed and unexposed offspring 4.72% (2.37% to 7.06%)).
..Both pregestational diabetes (1.34 (1.25 to 1.43)) and gestational diabetes (1.19 (1.07 to 1.32)) were associated with increased rates of CVD in offspring. We also observed varied increased rates of specific early onset CVDs, particularly heart failure (1.45 (0.89 to 2.35)), hypertensive disease (1.78 (1.50 to 2.11)), deep vein thrombosis (1.82 (1.38 to 2.41)), and pulmonary embolism (1.91 (1.31 to 2.80)).
Conclusions Children of mothers with diabetes, especially those mothers with a history of CVD or diabetic complications, have increased rates of early onset CVD from childhood to early adulthood. If maternal diabetes does have a causal association with increased CVD rate in offspring, the prevention, screening, and treatment of diabetes in women of childbearing age could help to reduce the risk of CVD in the next generation.