Background: We previously demonstrated an association between placental leptin (LEP) methylation levels and macrosomia without gestational diabetes mellitus (non-GDM). This study further explored the association between LEP methylation in cord blood and non-GDM macrosomia.
Method: We carried out a case-control study of 61 newborns with macrosomia (birth weight ≥4000 g) and 69 newborns with normal birth weight (2500-3999 g). Methylation in the LEP promoter region was mapped by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry.
Results: Average cord blood LEP methylation levels were lower in macrosomia newborns than in control newborns (P < 0.001). Eleven CpG sites were associated with macrosomia. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that low LEP methylation levels [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.84, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.72-4.17], high pre-pregnancy body mass index (AOR = 7.44, 95% CI: 1.99-27.75), long gestational age (AOR = 3.18, 95% CI: 1.74-5.79), high cord blood LEP concentration (AOR = 2.25, 95% CI: 1.34-3.77), and male newborn gender (AOR = 3.91, 95% CI: 1.31-11.69) significantly increased the risk of macrosomia.
Conclusions: Lower cord blood LEP methylation levels and certain maternal and fetal factors are associated with non-GDM macrosomia.