Body composition in term offspring after maternal gestational diabetes does not predict postnatal hypoglycemia.

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Offspring of mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) have an increased risk of neonatal complications like birth trauma due to macrosomia or postnatal hypoglycemia, as well as long-term metabolic sequelae. Neonatal body composition may be a sensitive marker of metabolic effects on the fetus caused by suboptimal glycemic control during pregnancy.To determine body composition in offspring of mothers with GDM compared to a reference cohort of healthy term neonates and to assess whether increased body fat would be associated with postnatal hypoglycemia.This prospective, observational, cross-sectional study included 311 full-term, singleton infants born between June 2014 and July 2015. Body composition was measured within 96 h of birth using air displacement plethysmography. Results are indicated as median (1st Quartile – 3rd Quartile).Of 311 infants, 40 (12.9%) were born to mothers with GDM. Birth weight standard deviation scores (SDS) (0.24 vs. - 0.07, p = 0.04), fat mass (370 g vs. 333 g, p = 0.02) as well as fat mass/total body mass (BF%; 11.4% vs. 10.8%, p = 0.03) were significantly higher in infants following maternal GDM than in controls. In GDM offspring, anthropometric parameters, fat mass or BF% did not differ between infants with or without postnatal hypoglycemia. In this cohort, SDS for birth weight, fat mass, fat free mass, BF% or postnatal hypoglycemia were not associated with maternal blood glucose levels measured at an oral glucose tolerance test.SDS for birth weight, neonatal fat mass, and BF% were significantly higher in newborns following maternal GDM. In these infants born to mothers with GDM, body composition did not differ between those with or without postnatal hypoglycemia.

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Authors: Cornelia Wiechers, Lena S Balles, Sara Kirchhof, Romy Weber, Vanessa Avellina, Jan Pauluschke-Fröhlich, Manfred Hallschmid, Louise Fritsche, Hubert Preißl, Andreas Fritsche, Christian F Poets, Axel R Franz