Exposure to maternal gestational diabetes is associated with higher cardiovascular responses to stress in adolescent Indians

Authors : Krishnaveni GV, Veena SR, Jones A, Srinivasan K, Osmond C, Karat SC, Kurpad AV, Fall CH

Publication Year : 2015

Abstract :

CONTEXT: Altered endocrinal and autonomic nervous system responses to stress may link impaired intra-uterine growth with later cardiovascular disease.

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that offspring of gestational diabetic mothers (OGDM) have high cortisol and cardiosympathetic responses during the Trier Social Stress Test for Children (TSST-C).

DESIGN: Adolescents from a birth cohort in India (n = 213; mean age, 13.5 y), including 26 OGDM, 22 offspring of diabetic fathers (ODF), and 165 offspring of nondiabetic parents (controls) completed 5 minutes each of public speaking and mental arithmetic tasks in front of two unfamiliar "evaluators" (TSST-C). Salivary cortisol concentrations were measured at baseline and at regular intervals after the TSST-C. Heart rate, blood pressure (BP), stroke volume, cardiac output, and total peripheral resistance were measured continuously at baseline, during the TSST-C, and for 10 minutes after the test using a finger cuff; the beat-to-beat values were averaged for these periods.

RESULTS: Cortisol and cardiosympathetic parameters increased from baseline during stress (P < .001). OGDM had greater systolic BP (mean difference, 5.6 mm Hg), cardiac output (0.5 L/min), and stroke volume (4.0 mL) increases and a lower total peripheral resistance rise (125 dyn · s/cm(5)) than controls during stress. ODF had greater systolic BP responses than controls (difference, 4.1 mm Hg); there was no difference in other cardiosympathetic parameters. Cortisol responses were similar in all three groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Maternal diabetes during pregnancy is associated with higher cardiosympathetic stress responses in the offspring, which may contribute to their higher cardiovascular disease risk. Further research may confirm stress-response programming as a predictor of cardiovascular risk in OGDM.