Objective: Maternal diabetes is associated with excess foetal growth. We have assessed the influence of maternal diabetes on hormones associated with foetal growth and the relationship of these hormones to birthweight.
Design: Case-control study.
Patients: Singleton offspring of mothers with type 1 diabetes (ODM, n = 140) and control mothers (Control, n = 49).
Measurements: Birthweight, cord blood insulin, proinsulin, 32-33 split proinsulin, leptin, IGF-1, IGFBP-3, cortisol.
Results: Maternal diabetes was associated with higher birthweight (ODM 3.80 +/- 0.69 kg; Control; 3.56 +/- 0.52 kg, P = 0.02) and marked increases in insulin (median [interquartile range]: ODM 110 [60-217] pmol/l; Control 22 [15-37] pmol/l; P < 0.0001) and leptin (ODM 32 [15-60] ng/ml; Control 9 [4-17] ng/ml; P < 0.0001) but no absolute difference in IGF-1 (ODM 7.9 [6.2-9.8] nmol/l, Control 7.5 [6.2-9.8] nmol/l, P = 0.24) or its principle binding protein IGFBP-3 (ODM 1.63 +/- 0.38 micro g/ml, Control 1.63 +/- 0.28 micro g/ml; P = 0.12). Individually, insulin, insulin propeptides, leptin, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 were significantly (P < 0.05) correlated with birthweight (in ODM and Control). IGF-1 and leptin were positively related to birthweight independently of each other and insulin in both ODM and Control. By contrast, insulin showed independent relationships to birthweight in ODM (P < 0.0001) but not in Control (P = 0.4).
Conclusions: Maternal diabetes is associated with marked elevation of insulin and leptin in cord blood of their offspring. Hormonal correlates of birthweight differ between ODM and Control with an independent relationship of insulin to birthweight observed only in ODM.