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Mothers were asked if they had been diagnosed with diabetes before or during their pregnancy. The researchers said those who were diagnosed while pregnant either had a temporary, pregnancy-induced condition called gestational diabetes or had diabetes that had gone undiagnosed until they were pregnant.
The study found that there was no diabetes involved in 93 percent of the birth defects.
About 2 percent of the children with single birth defects were born to mothers who had diabetes before they became pregnant. About 5 percent of the infants with multiple defects were born to mothers with that condition. In healthy births, the percentage of mothers who were diabetic before pregnancy was much lower.
The study also showed a wide range of birth defects that included malformation of the heart, spine, limbs and gastrointestinal tract.
"Diabetes is not discriminating" in which birth defects it's linked to, said Dr. Adolfo Correa, a CDC epidemiologist who was the study's lead author.
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