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Folic Acid Consumption in First Trimester Linked to GDM Risk

Much higher risk for women with prepregnancy BMI of ≥25 kg/m² taking FA supplements

pregnant woman exam

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Folic acid (FA) consumption in the first trimester is associated with increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), according to research published online Jan. 28 in Diabetes Care.

Beibei Zhu, from the Anhui Medical University in Hefei, China, and colleagues used data from the prospective China-Anhui Birth Cohort Study to examine the correlation between FA supplement consumption and the risk of GDM.

The researchers diagnosed GDM in 12.8 percent of the 1,938 women who had either used FA supplements or never used any vitamin supplements. The risk of GDM was increased in association with daily FA supplement consumption in the first trimester (adjusted odds ratio, 2.25). The risk of GDM was much higher for women with a prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) of ≥25 kg/m² and taking FA supplements daily in the first trimester versus women with a prepregnancy BMI of <25 kg/m² and not taking FA supplements (odds ratio, 5.63). Women using FA before pregnancy alone or in the second trimester alone had no increased risk of GDM.

"Our study, for the first time, suggests that daily FA supplement consumption in early pregnancy increases the risk of GDM, and further larger cohort studies are warranted to examine this adverse effect," the authors write.

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