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  • Author: Mariana Genova x
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Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), one of the most common pregnancy complications, is defined as glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy. Its prevalence varies worldwide in dependence on characteristics of the underlying population and applied diagnostic criteria. The etiology is multifactorial and not sufficiently elucidated. Available evidence suggests that the base of pathogenesis is relatively diminished insulin secretion coupled with pregnancy-induced insulin resistance. Modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for development have been identified. Trace elements and vitamin D could be contributed to modifiable factors for prediction the risk in a large population. Essential trace elements in pregnancy are necessary to overcome systemic oxidative, metabolic and inflammatory stress. Evidence, still inconclusive, has been accumulated about the relation between higher incidence of vitamin D failure/deficiency during pregnancy and GDM. The lower level of 25-OH vitamin D could be associated with increased risk for anemia development, also including pregnant women. This review intends to provide an overview of the possible link between both vitamin D and trace elements as risk factors for GDM development.


The aim of the present study was to assess β-cell function using homeostasis model (HOMA-B) and disposition index (DI) in pregnant women with/without gestational diabetes, and after delivery. A total of 102 pregnant women between 24-28 gestational weeks (53 with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and 49 with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) and 22 GDM postpartum women (8-12 weeks after delivery) were included in the study. All postpartum women had a history of GDM. HOMA indexes (insulin resistance - HOMA-IR and HOMA-B for assessing β-cell function) were calculated from fasting glucose and insulin concentrations. To estimate insulin secretion independent of insulin sensitivity, DI was calculated using glucose and insulin levels at 0 and 60 min during the course of a 2 h 75g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). In GDM pregnant women HOMA-B was significantly lower compared to NGT women (p = 0.017), but there was no significant difference compared to women after birth (NS). There was difference between NGT and postpartum women (p < 0.05). DI was significantly lower for GDM pregnant women in comparison to NGT and postpartum women (p < 0.0001; p = 0.011), between NGT and women after birth (p < 0.04). In our study, comparison of НОМА-В in NGT and GDM pregnant women demonstrated that the OR of developing GDM was 0.989 (95% CI, 0.980-0.998, P = 0.013), and comparison of DI in healthy pregnant and GDM showed that the OR of developing GDM was 0.967 (95% CI, 0.947-0.988, P = 0.002). Therefore, HOMA-B and DI appear to be protective factors in the risk of developing GDM. According to our results, assessment of β-cell function, using HOMA-B and DI, showed that they are lower in GDM than NGT group and postpartum women. It is important to note that HOMA-B did not show significant difference between GDM pregnant and women after delivery with a history for GDM. We assume that pregnant women with GDM have a pancreatic β-cell defect that remains after birth. These women are at increased risk for developing diabetes mellitus, the most frequent type 2 diabetes, in the future after birth.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the levels of pro-insulin and pro-insulin/ insulin ratio (PIR) in pregnant with normal glucose tolerance (NGT), pregnant with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and women after delivery with GDM history. Normal pregnancy is characterized by progressive insulin resistance, which is physiologically compensated by an increase in insulin secretion. The higher secretion of the insulin precursor pro-insulin has been associated with β-cell dysfunction. A total of 102 pregnant women between 24-28 gestational weeks (53 GDM pregnant, 49 with NGT) and 22 postpartum with GDM history, as assessed by a 2h oral glucose tolerance test, were included in the study. Fasting plasma insulin and pro-insulin (PI) concentrations at the basal state were measured in all women. The ratio pro-insulin/insulin was calculated. BMI was significantly higher in GDM pregnant compared to NGT weight-matched group (30.56 ± 6.9 vs. 30.56 ± 6.9; p < 0, 011) and compared to the levels after delivery (30.56 ± 6.9vs. 27.9 ± 6, 27; p < 0, 001). Significant differences in the levels of PI between NGT and GDM pregnant (3.94 ± 2.78 vs. 7.59 ± 5.27; p = 0.006), between GDM and postpartum women (7.59 ± 5.27 vs. 4.46 ± 1.14; p = 0.022) were established. No signifi cant difference in the level of PIR between two pregnant groups was observed. Separately NGT and GDM showed signifi cant difference compared to young mothers (0.41 ± 0.14 vs. 0.148 ± 0.031, p < 0.02; 0.46 ± 0.16 vs. 0.148 ± 0.031, p = 0.009). Fasting insulin was statistically higher in GDM pregnant compare to NGT and women after delivery (13.84 ± 8.43 vs. 11.35 ± 7.38, p = 0.02; 13.84 ± 8.43 vs. 10.60 ± 7.53, p < 0.01). The correlation between PIR and BMI in the three groups studied were r = 0.416; r = 0,741; r = 0,556 (with statistical significance p = 0.01 between NGT and GDM pregnancy, p = 0.02 between GDM pregnancy and postpartum, p < 0.0001 between NGT pregnancy and young mother with GDM history). In our study, comparison of PI levels between pregnant with NGT and GDM demonstrated that the OR of developing GDM was 1.194 (95% CI, 1.028-1.329, P = 0.001). Increasing the value of PI with 10 pmol/l increases the risk for development of GDM with 19.4%. According to our results, pregnant with GDM have elevated levels of pro-insulin and PIR which could serve as a markers for this condition. These results support our findings about relationship and influence of BMI on β-cell functions, established in this study with normotolerant, gestational diabetes pregnant and women postpartum with GDM history. These results demonstrate that gestational diabetics have abnormalities in pancreatic beta-cell secretion, which are likely to be important both in the etiology of gestational diabetes and non-insulin dependent diabetes.