Serum lipid, lipoprotein and apolipoprotein changes in gestational diabetes mellitus: a cross-sectional and prospective study.


AIMS: To compare serum lipid, lipoprotein and apolipoprotein concentrations during and six to 12 months after pregnancy in control and diabetic women. METHODS: The serum lipid, lipoprotein and apolipoprotein concentrations were measured in 20 women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and 22 women with normal glucose tolerance (controls) during the third trimester of pregnancy and six to 12 months after delivery. RESULTS: During pregnancy the women with GDM had higher serum triglyceride (mean (95% confidence interval (CI)), 2.91 (2.22-3.51) v 2.1 (1.75-2.52)) but lower low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations compared with controls (mean (SD), 3.08 (1.2) v 4.01 (1.1). Total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and apolipoprotein concentrations were not significantly different between the two groups. After pregnancy, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglyceride, and apolipoprotein A1 and B decreased in a parallel manner, resulting in lower concentrations, comparable between the two groups. LDL cholesterol concentrations decreased after pregnancy in the controls (mean (SD), 4.01 (1.1) v 2.69 (0.6)) but not in those with GDM (3.08 (1.2) v 2.72 (0.7)). The change in lipid concentrations was not related to change in weight. CONCLUSION: Development of diabetes during pregnancy induces a state of dyslipidaemia characterised by elevated triglyceride concentrations, as seen in other insulin resistance states. However, GDM seems to blunt the increase in LDL cholesterol during pregnancy and this requires further investigation. Whether the changes in lipoprotein metabolism in GDM are significant for the health status of the mother and the foetus requires further study.

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