Objectives: To evaluate oxidative and antioxidative status in pregnant diabetic women between 26 and 32 weeks of gestation.
Design and methods: Free and total malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and vitamins A and E were determined in plasma and erythrocytes of 54 pregnant women. Among these, 27 were diabetics with either gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), sub-group I, or previous insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (type 1 diabetes), sub-group II. The other 27 patients were controls. Fasting plasma glucose and HbA(1c) levels were determined in all women.
Results: HbA(1c) levels, plasma-, and erythrocyte-free MDA levels were significantly higher in all diabetic women and in both sub-groups than in controls. Plasma vitamin E and erythrocyte vitamin A levels were significantly lower in all diabetic women than in controls. Moreover, GPX and SOD activities were significantly reduced in all diabetic women, GPX in both sub-groups and SOD only in type 1 diabetes.
Conclusions: The increased oxidative stress we demonstrated in pregnant women with previous type 1 diabetes or with GDM should be monitored by strictly controlling blood glucose during pregnancy with stringent recommendations and perhaps antioxidant supplementation.