Relationship Between Leg Length and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in Chinese Pregnant Women

  1. Run Mei Ma, PHD, MD1,
  2. Terence T. Lao, MD2,
  3. Chun Ling Ma, MPHIL1,
  4. Shu Jie Liao, MPHIL1,
  5. Yan Feng Lu, MPHIL1,
  6. Ming Yu Du, MPHIL1,
  7. Hong Xiao, BSC1,
  8. Lan Zhang, BSC1,
  9. Ming Hui Yang, BSCN1 and
  10. Xue Xiao, MPHIL1
  1. 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1st Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical College, Kunming, Yunnan Province, P. R. China
  2. 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, P. R. China
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Run Mei Ma, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1st Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical College, P.O. Box 650032, 295 Xichang Rd., Kunming, Yunnan Province, P. R. China. E-mail: marunmei{at}

The relationship between maternal short stature and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) remains controversial. While such an association has been shown in Europeans, South Americans, and Southern Asians (1–5), it was not demonstrated in Hungarians of European origin (6). Apart from ethnic differences, the contribution of the different components of height to overall height could have influenced this association, since leg length rather than trunk length has been correlated with type 2 diabetes in British women (7), and a similar observation in women with GDM has since been reported (5). As Chinese women are generally shorter than their European counterparts because of shorter legs, we have examined the relationship between overall height and components of height with the development of GDM in Chinese women to address this issue.


This prospective cohort study was conducted in Kunming, China, from August 2004 to March 2005. All the patients were ethnic Chinese. A 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was arranged at booking for women with risk factors for GDM. If the initial results were normal, the OGTT was repeated at 28–32 weeks. All low-risk women received the OGTT at 28–32 weeks. No preliminary challenge test was used. The OGTT results were interpreted by World Health Organization criteria (8), which have been studied in Chinese populations before (9–11 …

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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 30 no. 11 2960-2961
  1. All Versions of this Article:
    1. dc07-0763v1
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