Maternal triglyceride levels and newborn weight in pregnant women with normal glucose tolerance

Diabet Med. 2005 Jan;22(1):21-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2004.01336.x.


Objective: To determine the predictive value of serum triglyceride levels (TG) for neonatal weight in pregnant women with positive diabetic screening but normal glucose tolerance.

Research design and methods: We enrolled 180 pregnant Caucasian women with positive diabetic screening. All women underwent a 3-h 100-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at 27th +/- 4 week of gestation. At the time of OGTT, we measured: fasting plasma glucose, fasting lipids profile and determined ApoE polymorphisms to evaluate the effects on lipid levels. In 83 women with normal glucose tolerance and at term delivery we evaluated the association between maternal serum TG, specific maternal parameters known to affect fetal growth and newborn weight.

Results: Based on OGTT, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) was diagnosed in 36 women (20%), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) in 23 (13%), and normal glucose tolerance (NGT) in 121 (67%). Serum TG concentration was significantly higher in women with GDM (2.47 +/- 0.77 mmol/l) as compared with NGT (1.99 +/- 0.64 mmol/l) or IGT (1.98 +/- 0.81 mmol/l) (P < 0.01). ApoE3 allelic frequency was 86%, ApoE2 and ApoE4 were 5 and 9%, respectively. We found no clear-cut association between apoE genotype and serum TG concentration. Macrosomia and LGA newborns were more frequent in IGT than in GDM or NGT (P < 0.01). In the 83 women with positive diabetic screening but normal glucose tolerance who delivered at term, the incidence of LGA infants was significantly higher in those with TG levels higher than the 75th percentile (> 2.30 mmol/l) (21%) than in mothers who had normal TG levels (4.5%) (P < 0.05). Pre-pregnancy BMI (r(2) = 0.067), weight gain during pregnancy (r(2) = 0.062), fasting serum TG (r(2) = 0.09), and 2-h post-OGTT glucose levels (r(2) = 0.044) were all associated with neonatal body weight (all P < 0.05 or less). However, on a multiple regression analysis, only pre-pregnancy BMI (F-test = 7.26, P < 0.01), and fasting serum TG (F-test = 4.07, P < 0.01) were independently associated with birth weight.

Conclusions: Pre-pregnancy BMI and fasting maternal serum TG determined in the last trimester of gestation were independently associated with neonatal birth weight in women with normal glucose tolerance, but positive screening test. TG levels measured in the third trimester of pregnancy are independent of the genetic polymorphism of ApoE.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Birth Weight*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diabetes, Gestational / blood*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / genetics
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy, High-Risk / blood
  • Pregnancy, High-Risk / genetics
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides