Insulin resistance that affects the early manifestation of gestational diabetes could be partially explained by obesity, new research suggests.
Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria conducted a study of 211 pregnant women, evaluating clinical and pathophysiologic characteristics before the 21st gestational week.
Between 14-18 gestational weeks, multiple measurements of glucose, insulin and C-peptide were evaluated in the participants to assess insulin sensitivity and beta cell function. Clinical follow-ups were performed until the end of the participants’ pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes manifestation
62 per cent of women maintained normal glucose tolerance, but gestational diabetes developed in 81 women. 23 per cent exhibited early signs, while 15 per cent manifested it late.
Women with early gestational diabetes were affected by decreased insulin sensitivity, while impaired beta cell function was observed in women with late onset gestational diabetes.
The highest levels of BMI were found in women with early gestational diabetes, which was associated with fasting glucose and decreased insulin sensitivity.
The researchers concluded that early manifestation of gestation diabetes can be partially explained by insulin resistance, but beta cell dysfunction was also detectable.
The strongest risk factors for gestational diabetes, including age and BMI, made no difference when glucose disposal was measured among the participants.

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