Serum Lipids and their Association with Birth Weight in Metformin and Insulin Treated Patients with Gestational Diabetes

Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice
24 Sep, 2020 ,

In this study, the effects of metformin and insulin treatment on maternal serum lipids were compared in patients with gestational diabetes (GDM), and to examine the relationships between individual lipids and birth weight (BW). Researchers designed a secondary analysis of a randomized trial to compare metformin (n=110) and insulin (n=107) treatment of GDM. They assessed fasting serum lipidome at baseline (the time of diagnosis, mean 30 gestational weeks, gw) and at 36 gw applying nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The data revealed that metformin treatment of GDM led to higher maternal serum concentrations of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in comparison with insulin. In VLDL, particularly triglycerides and cholesterol were positively correlated with BW. The evidence suggested that women with high VLDL cholesterol or high apoB/apoA-1 may benefit from insulin treatment over metformin with respect to offspring BW.

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Abstract

Aims

To compare the effects of metformin and insulin treatment on maternal serum lipids in patients with gestational diabetes (GDM), and to analyse the associations between individual lipids and birth weight (BW).

Methods

This is a secondary analysis of a randomized trial comparing metformin (n=110) and insulin (n=107) treatment of GDM. Fasting serum lipidome was measured at baseline (the time of diagnosis, mean 30 gestational weeks, gw) and at 36 gw using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Results

Total and VLDL triglycerides and VLDL cholesterol increased from baseline to 36 gw in both treatment groups. The rise in triglycerides was greater in the metformin treated patients (p<0.01). Baseline total and VLDL triglycerides and VLDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B to A-1 ratio (apoB/apoA-1) associated positively with BW, more strongly in the metformin group. Among patients in the highest baseline VLDL cholesterol or apoB/apoA-1 quartile, those treated with insulin had smaller BWs than those treated with metformin (p<0.03).

Conclusion

Compared to insulin, metformin treatment of GDM led to higher maternal serum concentrations of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. Especially triglycerides and cholesterol in VLDL were positively associated with BW. Women with high VLDL cholesterol or high apoB/apoA-1 may benefit from insulin treatment over metformin with respect to offspring BW.