Risk of gestational diabetes mellitus in relation to maternal egg and cholesterol intake

Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Mar 15;173(6):649-58. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq425. Epub 2011 Feb 15.


Higher egg and cholesterol intakes are associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, their association with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has not been evaluated. The authors assessed such associations in both a prospective cohort study (1996-2008; 3,158 participants) and a case-control study (1998-2002; 185 cases, 411 controls). A food frequency questionnaire was used to assess maternal diet. Multivariable models were used to derive relative risks and 95% confidence intervals. Compared with no egg consumption, adjusted relative risks for GDM were 0.94, 1.01, 1.12, 1.54, and 2.52 for consumption of ≤1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-9, and ≥10 eggs/week, respectively (P for trend=0.008). Women with high egg consumption (≥7/week) had a 1.77-fold increased risk compared with women with lower consumption (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.19, 2.63). The relative risk for the highest quartile of cholesterol intake (≥294 mg/day) versus the lowest (<151 mg/day) was 2.35 (95% CI: 1.35, 4.09). In the case-control study, the adjusted odds ratio for consuming ≥7 eggs/week versus <7 eggs/week was 2.65 (95% CI: 1.48, 4.72), and the odds of GDM increased with increasing cholesterol intake (P for trend=0.021). In conclusion, high egg and cholesterol intakes before and during pregnancy are associated with increased risk of GDM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / adverse effects*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Diabetes, Gestational / etiology*
  • Eggs / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Cholesterol, Dietary