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Haptoglobin (Hp), an Hb-binding plasma protein, exists in two major allelic variants. Hp1 has higher Hb binding and antioxidant capacity compared with Hp2. Individuals with Hp1 exhibit a lower incidence of angiopathies. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is an early manifestation of type 2 diabetes in pregnant women. It is usually confined to the time of gestation, but carries an increased risk to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.From consecutive Caucasian pregnant women (n = 250) referred for oral glucose tolerance testing, the Hp phenotype was determined. Significance of distribution and odds ratios (ORs) associated with Hp phenotype were calculated for women with GDM (n = 110) and women with normal glucose tolerance (n = 140).Frequency of GDM in Hp phenotype classes increased with the number of Hp2 alleles (P < 0.001). ORs for GDM in women heterozygous and homozygous for Hp2 were 2.7 (95% CI 1.06-6.84) and 4.2 (1.67-10.55), respectively.Hp phenotype is an apparent risk factor for the development of GDM in our study population. This might be due to the low antioxidative potential of Hp2 compared with Hp1.