Objective: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a transient form of diabetes characterized by impaired insulin secretion and action during pregnancy. Population-based differences in prevalence exist which could be explained by phenotypic and genetic differences. The aim of this study was to examine these differences in pregnant women from Punjab, India and Scandinavia.
Methods: Eighty-five GDM/T2D loci in European and/or Indian populations from previous studies were assessed for association with GDM based on Swedish GDM criteria in 4018 Punjabi Indian and 507 Swedish pregnant women. Selected loci were replicated in Scandinavian cohorts, Radiel (N = 398, Finnish) and STORK/STORK-G (N = 780, Norwegian).
Results: Punjabi Indian women had higher GDM prevalence, lower insulin secretion and better insulin sensitivity than Swedish women. There were significant frequency differences of GDM/T2D risk alleles between both populations. rs7178572 at HMG20A, previously associated with GDM in South Indian and European women, was replicated in North Indian women. The T2D risk SNP rs11605924 in the CRY2 gene was associated with increased GDM risk in Scandinavian but decreased GDM risk in Punjabi Indian women. No other overlap was seen between GDM loci in both populations.
Conclusions: Gestational diabetes mellitus is more common in Indian than Swedish women, which partially can be attributed to differences in insulin secretion and action. There was marked heterogeneity in the GDM phenotypes between the populations which could only partially be explained by genetic differences.
Keywords: India; Scandinavia; genetics; gestational diabetes mellitus; insulin resistance; insulin secretion.
© 2019 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine.