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Adipose tissue and body composition in women six years after gestational diabetes: factors associated with development of type 2 diabetes.

Journal article
Authors Henrik Svensson
Louise Wetterling
Ulrika Andersson Hall
Eva Jennische
Staffan Edén
Agneta Holmäng
Malin Lönn
Published in Adipocyte
Volume 7
Issue 4
Pages 229-237
ISSN 2162-397X
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine
Institute of Medicine
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Pages 229-237
Language en
Subject categories Diabetology


Factors differentiating women at highest risk of progression to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) after gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are incompletely known. Our aim was to characterize adipose tissue and body composition in relation to glucose metabolism in women with a history of GDM and to identify factors associated with development of T2DM. We examined glucose tolerance (OGTT), insulin sensitivity (HOMA-IR), body composition (anthropometry, air displacement plethysmography), and blood chemistry in 39 women 6 years after GDM. An adipose tissue biopsy was obtained to assess the size, number, and lipolytic activity of adipocytes, and adipokine release and density of immune cells and blood vessels in adipose tissue. Normal glucose tolerance (NGT) was identified in 31 women and impaired glucose metabolism (IGM) in 8. Women with IGM had higher BMI/fat mass, and related expected adipose tissue features, than women with NGT. Ethnicity was similar in the groups, but numerically there was a higher proportion of European women in the NGT group and a higher proportion of non-European women in the IGM group. BMI was the best discriminator of NGT versus IGM (multivariable logistic regression: OR = 1.34, P < 0.01). Waist-to-height ratio and adipocyte volume were most strongly associated with HOMA-IR (multivariable linear regression: R2 = 0.656, P < 0.001). After adjustment for BMI/ethnicity, women with IGM had increased serum adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein, weight gain after index pregnancy, and a lower proportion of fat-free mass. These factors, together with high BMI, abdominal fat distribution, and enlarged adipocytes, may increase the risk of progression to T2DM after GDM.

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