Comparison of the motor development of school-age children born to mothers with and without diabetes mellitus

Navah Ratzon*, Mordechai Dulitzky, Asher Ornoy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of diabetes during pregnancy on the long-term motor development of the offspring and to study possible correlations between glycemic control and motor development. We compared the motor development of 57 children, 5- to 12-years-of-age, born to 48 mothers with well-controlled diabetes, to the motor development of 57 control children matched by age, birth order, and parental socio-economic status. Children born to mothers with diabetes performed less well than controls in fine and gross motor functions on the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency. A negative correlation existed between the test scores of the children whose mothers had diabetes and the severity of hyperglycemia as assessed by blood glycosylated hemoglobin levels and acetonuria. Motor ability of the children of mothers with diabetes had a high correlation with biological and environmental variables. These results suggest that diabetes during pregnancy may affect the developing brain, inducing long-term mild motor deficiency. The effects seem to result from the adverse effects of diabetic metabolic factors, and the effects correlate with the degree of diabetes control. The combination of metabolic functioning of women with diabetes and home environment may affect the motor development of their children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-57
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Diabetes
  • Fine motor skills
  • Gross motor skills


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