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Higher Iron Levels Linked to Increased Risk of Gestational DM

Finding raises questions about iron supplementation recommendations for pregnant women


FRIDAY, Nov. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of iron are associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes, according to research published online Nov. 10 in Diabetologia.

The study included 107 women who had gestational diabetes. The researchers compared them with 214 women who didn't develop the condition, looking at hepcidin, ferritin, and soluble transferrin receptor values.

The researchers found that women with the highest iron levels during the second trimester of pregnancy had more than twice the risk of developing gestational diabetes, compared with women with the lowest iron levels (adjusted odds ratio, 2.61). In the first trimester, women who were in the top 25 percent for levels of ferritin had more than two times the risk of gestational diabetes compared to those in the bottom 25 percent (adjusted odds ratio, 2.43).

"Our findings suggest that elevated iron stores may be involved in the development of gestational diabetes from as early as the first trimester," the authors write. "This raises potential concerns for the recommendation of routine iron supplementation among iron-replete pregnant women."

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