Biological and biochemical characteristics of a Mediterranean population with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

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The interplay of various nutrients provided to the developing foetus determines the growth potential of the conceptus. This study assessed the inter-relationship between these nutrients in a Mediterranean population including 1062 pregnant, previously non-diabetic women. These underwent an oral glucose tolerance test (oGTT) and were accordingly classified into gestational hyperglycaemic and normoglycaemic groups. Fasting insulin, HbA1c, and lipid profiles were further assessed, and the anthropomorphic characteristics of the mother and child at birth were measured. Lipid profiles were compared between the two groups and related to the biological characteristics of the mother and child at birth. Gestational hyperglycaemia was significantly associated with elevated triglycerides (P<0.0001) and decreased low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (P=0.02). There were no significant changes in total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. Maternal BMI correlated positively with the various glycaemic indices (P<0.0001) and triglycerides (P<0.0001), but inversely with cholesterol (P<0.0001), HDL-C (P<0.0001) and LDL-C (P<0.0001). The infant birth weight correlated positively with maternal body weight (P<0.0001), LDL-C (P<0.0001) and the glycaemic indices (P<0.0001), but negatively with cholesterol (P<0.0001), triglycerides (P<0.0001), HDL-C (P<0.0001) and FBG (P<0.0001). This study confirms that the maternal body mass index (BMI), insulin resistance, and LDL-C levels positively contribute towards foetal growth, whereas a negative correlation was noted with cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL-C.

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