Raised liver enzymes ‘linked to gestational diabetes’

6 May 2014

Women with elevated levels of a liver enzyme are twice as likely to develop gestational diabetes compared to those with the lowest levels, suggests a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care.

The enzyme gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) is a common marker of liver function and has been linked to insulin resistance, which can be a precursor to gestational and type 2 diabetes.

Researchers examined the medical records of 256 women who developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy, these were compared to 497 who did not develop the condition. 

They found that women with the highest levels of GGT were almost twice as likely to develop the illness. No other associations were found between other liver enzymes.

The condition has become more prevalent over recent decades and is now one of the most common complications of pregnancy. It can cause larger-than-normal babies to be born and other delivery difficulties.

Monique M. Hedderson, senior author of the research, said: "This study and others we've done provide evidence that women who develop gestational diabetes have metabolic abnormalities even before pregnancy. 

“In the future, we could potentially try to prevent gestational diabetes by intervening before women get pregnant."

Posted by Jeanette Royston


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