Association between retinol-binding protein 4 concentrations and gestational diabetes mellitus and risk of developing metabolic syndrome after pregnancy

Reprod Sci. 2010 Feb;17(2):196-201. doi: 10.1177/1933719109351097. Epub 2009 Nov 6.


The aim of this study was to examine the association between plasma retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and the risk of developing metabolic syndrome after pregnancy. In a case-control study, 192 pregnant women (92 with GDM) were recruited. Gestational diabetes mellitus was diagnosed based on O'Sullivan and Mahan criteria. In all pregnancies, plasma RBP4 concentrations were measured. Retinol-binding protein 4 concentrations in GDM patients were significantly higher than the normal women. Retinol-binding protein 4 level equal to or more than 42 microg/mL could help predict the risk of developing GDM (sensitivity = 75.8%, specificity = 65.3%, P = .001). Concerning metabolic syndrome after pregnancy, in all participants, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome base on World Health Organization (WHO) criteria was 24%. After pregnancy, 32.6% of women with GDM had metabolic syndrome compared with 10.5% of those with healthy pregnancy (P = .001). Age more than 25 years, body mass index (BMI) more than 27 kg/cm(2), and RBP4 concentrations were independent risk factors for GDM. Measurement of RBP4 together with the assessment of other risk factors could help identify women at risk of developing GDM.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes, Gestational / blood*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / diagnosis
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins, Plasma / metabolism*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult


  • RBP4 protein, human
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins, Plasma