Iron status in women with and without gestational diabetes mellitus

J Diabetes Complications. 2009 May-Jun;23(3):194-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2007.11.006. Epub 2008 Apr 16.


Objective: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) affects approximately 7% of all pregnancies. Pregnancy, mostly because of the mitochondria-rich placenta, is a condition that favors oxidative stress. A transitional metal, especially iron, which is particularly abundant in the placenta, is important in the production of free radicals. Also, studies have shown that free radicals have a role in GDM. As there are little data about iron status in GDM, this study was performed to compare iron status in GDM and control group.

Research design and methods: In this case-control study, 34 women with diagnosed GDM were compared with 34 non-GDM women in the control group at 24-28 weeks of pregnancy in terms of iron status, including ferritin, serum iron, total iron-binding capacity (TIBC), hemoglobin (Hb), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), and mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH).

Results: In this study, concentration of serum ferritin, iron, transferrin saturation and hemoglobin, MCV, and MCH was significantly higher in the GDM group and TIBC was significantly lower in this group (P<.05). No significant association was observed with the other variables including familial history of diabetes and GDM.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate an association between increased iron status and GDM. The role of iron excess from iron supplementation in the pathogenesis of GDM needs to be examined.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes, Gestational / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood*
  • Pregnancy


  • Iron