Determinants of Body Fat in Infants of Women With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Differ With Fetal Sex

  1. Leonie K. Callaway, PHD3
  1. 1University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, University of Queensland, Herston and Brisbane, Australia
  2. 2Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia
  3. 3School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  4. 4Queensland Facility for Advanced Bioinformatics, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  1. Corresponding author: Barbara E. Lingwood, b.lingwood{at}


OBJECTIVE Neonatal adiposity is a well-recognized complication of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). This study aimed to identify factors influencing adiposity in male and female infants of women treated for GDM.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This was a prospective study of 84 women with GDM. Daily blood glucose levels (BGLs) were retrieved from glucose meters, and overall mean fasting and mean 2-h postprandial BGLs were calculated for each woman. Infant body composition was measured at birth, and regression analysis was used to identify significant predictors of infant body fat separately in male and female infants.

RESULTS Maternal fasting BGL was the major predictor of adiposity in male infants but had little relationship to adiposity in female infants. In male infants, percent fat was increased by 0.44% for each 0.1 mmol/L increase in mean maternal fasting BGL. Maternal BMI was the primary predictor in female infants but had little effect in males. In female infants, percent fat was increased by 0.11% for each 1 kg/m2 increase in maternal prepregnancy BMI.

CONCLUSIONS Fetal sex may influence the impact that treatment strategies for GDM have on infant adiposity.

  • Received April 17, 2011.
  • Accepted September 8, 2011.

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