HealthDay News — Early second trimester lipids can identify maternal gestational diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Liangjian Lu, from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a prospective study involving 817 pregnant women (discovery cohort, 200 women; validation cohort, 617 women) who provided an early second trimester serum sample and underwent oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at week 28 of gestation. Lipids were measured using direct infusion mass spectrometry in the discovery cohort, and correlated with OGTT results. Candidate lipid biomarkers were identified using variable importance in projection (VIP) scores; biomarkers were then measured in the validation cohort.

The researchers observed a correlation for early second trimester lipidomic variation with 1-hour postload glucose levels, but no correlation with fasting plasma glucose levels. Ten of the 13 lipid species identified by VIP scores had nominally significant associations with postload glucose levels. Five of these lipids had significant associations with postload glucose levels in the validation cohort; the associations were independent of maternal age and BMI. Four of these biomarkers were also associated with maternal gestational diabetes; these 4 lipids had moderate ability to predict gestational diabetes (area under the curve, 0.71).

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“Specific early second trimester lipid biomarkers can predict maternal gestational diabetes status independent of maternal age and BMI, potentially enhancing risk factor-based screening,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Lu L, Koulman A, Petry CJ, et al. An unbiased lipidomics approach identifies early second trimester lipids predictive of maternal glycemic traits and gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care. 2016 Oct 4. doi:10.2337/dc16-0863 [Epub ahead of print].