Adiponectin and leptin as first trimester markers for gestational diabetes mellitus: a cohort study

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Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing partly due to the obesity epidemic. Adipocytokines have thus been suggested as first trimester screening markers for GDM. In this study we explore the associations between body mass index (BMI) and serum concentrations of adiponectin, leptin, and the adiponectin/leptin ratio. Furthermore, we investigate whether these markers can improve the ability to screen for GDM in the first trimester.


A cohort study in which serum adiponectin and leptin were measured between gestational weeks 6+0 and 14+0 in 2590 pregnant women, categorized into normal weight, moderately obese, or severely obese.


Lower concentrations of adiponectin were associated with GDM in all BMI groups; the association was more pronounced in BMI<35 kg/m2 (p=0.30 for interaction). Leptin was inversely associated with GDM in severely obese (p=0.033), but showed no association in women with BMI<35 kg/m2. The adiponectin/leptin ratio was associated with GDM in women with BMI<35 kg/m2 but not in severely obese women (p=0.79). In regard to predicting GDM, maternal characteristics combined with adiponectin alone, adiponcetin and leptin, and adiponcetin/leptin ratio had the strongest associations in women with BMI<35 kg/m2. These models had a detection rate of 77.3%-80.3% when the false positive rate was fixed at 25%.


Low adiponectin measured in the first trimester is associated with the development of GDM; higher BMI was associated with lower performance of adiponectin, though this was insignificant. Leptin had an inverse relationship with GDM in severely obese women and did not improve the ability to predict GDM.

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