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Gestational diabetes mellitus and infant adiposity at birth: A systematic review and meta-analysis of therapeutic interventions


Herath, M and Beckett, J and Hills, AP and Byrne, NM and Ahuja, KDK, Gestational diabetes mellitus and infant adiposity at birth: A systematic review and meta-analysis of therapeutic interventions, Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10, (4) Article 835. ISSN 2077-0383 (2021) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2021 the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

DOI: doi:10.3390/jcm10040835


Exposure to untreated gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in utero increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in adulthood, and increased adiposity in GDM-exposed infants is suggested as a plausible mediator of this increased risk of later-life metabolic disorders. Evidence is equivocal regarding the impact of good glycaemic control in GDM mothers on infant adiposity at birth. We systematically reviewed studies reporting fat mass (FM), percent fat mass (%FM) and skinfold thicknesses (SFT) at birth in infants of mothers with GDM controlled with therapeutic interventions (IGDMtr). While treating GDM lowered FM in newborns compared to no treatment, there was no difference in FM and SFT according to the type of treatment (insulin, metformin, glyburide). IGDMtr had higher overall adiposity (mean difference, 95% confidence interval) measured with FM (68.46 g, 29.91 to 107.01) and %FM (1.98%, 0.54 to 3.42) but similar subcutaneous adiposity measured with SFT, compared to infants exposed to normal glucose tolerance (INGT). This suggests that IGDMtr may be characterised by excess fat accrual in internal adipose tissue. Given that intraabdominal adiposity is a major risk factor for metabolic disorders, future studies should distinguish adipose tissue distribution of IGDMtr and INGT.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:gestational diabetes mellitus, treatment, adiposity, fat mass, skinfold thickness, newborns, infants
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Paediatrics
Research Field:Infant and child health
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Overweight and obesity
UTAS Author:Herath, M (Miss Manoja Herath)
UTAS Author:Beckett, J (Dr Jeff Beckett)
UTAS Author:Hills, AP (Professor Andrew Hills)
UTAS Author:Byrne, NM (Professor Nuala Byrne)
UTAS Author:Ahuja, KDK (Dr Kiran Ahuja)
ID Code:144681
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Office of the School of Health Sciences
Deposited On:2021-06-04
Last Modified:2022-08-25
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