Association of serum ghrelin with weight gain during pregnancy in overweight and normal women

J Endocrinol Invest. 2019 Jul;42(7):809-813. doi: 10.1007/s40618-018-0986-x. Epub 2018 Nov 21.


Purpose: Despite the fact that the ghrelin hormone plays pivotal role in the process of weight gain, its correlation with weighing during pregnancy has not been elucidated. Hence, the present study was conducted to evaluate the correlation between plasma ghrelin levels and gestational weight gain in overweight and normal women.

Methods: This prospective cohort study was conducted in 27 overweight and 18 normal body mass index (BMI) pregnant women referring to Tehran health care centers. Weight gain during all trimesters of pregnancy was measured and the blood samples were collected at 8-12 (first trimester) and 16-20 weeks (second trimester) of pregnancy. The plasma total ghrelin concentration was measured by ELISA method.

Results: The overweight pregnant women exhibited significantly lower weight gain at the second (p = 0.002), third trimesters (p = 0.005) as well as total weighing during pregnancy (p = 0.001) compared to the normal BMI pregnant women. There was no significant difference in plasma ghrelin levels between the groups from the first to the second trimesters of pregnancy (p > 0.05). Moreover, no correlation was found between ghrelin levels and gestational weight gain in the overweight and normal groups.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that the increased level of serum ghrelin could not be considered as a key mediator for weight gain difference during pregnancy of overweight women.

Keywords: Ghrelin; Overweight; Pregnancy; Weight gain.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Weight Gain*
  • Ghrelin / blood*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Overweight / blood*
  • Overweight / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First / blood
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second / blood
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third / blood
  • Prospective Studies


  • Biomarkers
  • Ghrelin