Predictors of Infant Adiposity in GDM Tied to Fetal Sex

Main predictors of adiposity are maternal glycemia in male, maternal BMI in female infants

FRIDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- For women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), the determinants of neonatal adiposity differ according to gender, with glycemia and maternal body mass index (BMI) being primary predictors of adiposity in male and female infants, respectively, according to a study published online Oct. 12 in Diabetes Care.

Barbara E. Lingwood, Ph.D., from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues investigated the factors influencing adiposity in male and female infants of 84 women with GDM. Glucometers were a source of daily blood glucose levels (BGLs), and overall mean fasting and mean two-hour postprandial BGLs were assessed for each woman. At birth, the infant body composition was assessed, and significant predictors of infant body fat were identified separately in male and female infants using regression analysis.

The investigators found that maternal fasting BGL was the main predictor of adiposity in male infants, but showed little association with adiposity in female infants. For each 0.1 mmol/L increase in mean maternal fasting BGL, male infants showed a 0.44 percent fat increase. Maternal BMI was the primary adiposity predictor in female infants, while it had little correlation with male infant adiposity. For every 1 kg/m² increase in maternal pre-pregnancy BMI there was a 0.11 percent fat increase in female infants.

"Glycemia is the primary predictor of adiposity in male infants but has little effect on adiposity in female infants, whereas maternal BMI is the primary predictor in female infants but has little effect in males," the authors write.

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