ENDO: Insulin Resistance Tied to Birth/Pregnancy Problems

Women with higher resistance have higher rate of complications

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- High degrees of insulin resistance in women may increase their rates of pregnancy complications and birth complications, and testing pregnant women for insulin resistance may be a useful way to predict problems, according to study findings presented at the Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting, held June 15-18 in San Francisco.

Weerapan Khovidhunkit, M.D., Ph.D., of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and colleagues studied 538 pregnant women who had a positive glucose challenge test, and then underwent an oral glucose tolerance test. The researchers also used homeostatic model assessment to assess insulin resistance, and tracked pregnancy complications including preeclampsia, polyhydramnios, premature rupture of the membranes and Caesarean section delivery.

Women with the highest degree of insulin resistance (above 2.44) had a rate of pregnancy complications nearly 1.5 times greater than those with the lowest insulin resistance, regardless of the presence of gestational diabetes, the researchers found. Babies born to women in the group with the highest insulin resistance had a complication rate at birth that was nearly 1.75 times higher than babies born to women in the lowest insulin resistance group. The most common maternal complication was need for a Caesarean section, and the most common infant complications were macrosomia and hypoglycemia.

"Before we can advise pregnant women to undergo this testing, further studies are needed in other patient populations," Khovidhunkit said in a statement.

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