Abdominal Visceral Adiposity in the First Trimester Predicts Glucose Intolerance in Later Pregnancy

  1. Aisling Mary Martin, MB1,
  2. Howard Berger, MD1,
  3. Rosane Nisenbaum, PHD2,
  4. Andrea Y. Lausman, MD1,
  5. Sharon MacGarvie, RDMS1,
  6. Carrie Crerar, RN1 and
  7. Joel G. Ray, MD, MSC1,3,4
  1. 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada;
  2. 2Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada;
  3. 3Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada;
  4. 4Department of Medicine, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  1. Corresponding author: Joel G. Ray, rayj{at}smh.toronto.on.ca.


OBJECTIVE To assess whether abdominal adiposity in early pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of glucose intolerance at a later gestational stage.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Subcutaneous and visceral fat was measured with ultrasonography at ∼12 weeks' gestation. A 50-g glucose challenge test (GCT) was performed between 24 and 28 weeks' gestation. The risk of having a positive GCT (≥7.8 mmol/l) was determined in association with subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue depths above their respective upper-quartile values relative to their bottom three quartile values.

RESULTS Sixty-two women underwent GCTs. A visceral adipose tissue depth above the upper quartile value was significantly associated with a positive GCT in later pregnancy (adjusted odds ratio 16.9 [95% CI 1.5–194.6]). No associations were seen for subcutaneous adipose tissue.

CONCLUSIONS Measurement of visceral adipose tissue depth in early pregnancy may be associated with glucose intolerance later in pregnancy.


  • The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

    • Received February 18, 2009.
    • Accepted April 14, 2009.
  • Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.

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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 32 no. 7 1308-1310
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