(HealthDay News) — For women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), triglycerides are significantly elevated throughout pregnancy, according to a review published online Jan. 22 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Kelli K. Ryckman, Ph.D., from the University of Iowa College of Public Health in Iowa City, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the correlation between lipid measures throughout pregnancy and GDM. Data from 60 studies were pooled and random effects models were used to calculate the weighted mean difference (WMD) in lipid levels.

The researchers found that for women with GDM versus those without, triglyceride levels were significantly elevated (WMD, 30.9); this finding was consistent across all trimesters of pregnancy. In women with GDM versus those without, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were significantly lower in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy (WMD, −4.6 and −4.1, respectively). There were no differences seen in aggregate total cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol between women with GDM and those without insulin resistance.

“Our meta-analysis shows that triglycerides are significantly elevated among women with GDM compared with women without insulin resistance and this finding persists across all three trimesters of pregnancy,” the authors write.


  1. Ryckman, KK, et al. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology; doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.13261.