University of Oulu

Sissala, N., Mustaniemi, S., Kajantie, E. et al. Higher hemoglobin levels are an independent risk factor for gestational diabetes. Sci Rep 12, 1686 (2022).

Higher hemoglobin levels are an independent risk factor for gestational diabetes

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Author: Sissala, Niina1; Mustaniemi, Sanna2,3; Kajantie, Eero2,3,4,5;
Organizations: 1Biocenter Oulu and Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Oulu Center for Cell-Matrix Research, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5400, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2PEDEGO Research Unit, MRC Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Population Health Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki and Oulu, Finland
4Department for Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
5Children’s Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-06-22


Incidence of gestational diabetes (GDM) has increased rapidly. It poses significant risks for both mother and fetus affecting also negatively their longer-term metabolic heath. We asked whether early pregnancy maternal hemoglobin (Hb) levels, indicative for tissue oxygenation, would affect mother’s metabolic health and fetal outcome. We assessed in FinnGeDi, a Finnish multicenter case–control study for GDM (n = 1828), association of maternal 1st trimester Hb levels with metabolic parameters and perinatal outcome. Our data show that mothers with GDM had higher Hb levels compared to controls (mean difference 1.746 g/L). Hb levels associated positively with pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), fasting glucose levels and glucose levels in a glucose tolerance test and systolic and diastolic blood pressure (bp) levels. When assessed in quartiles the highest Hb quartile had more chronic and gestational hypertension and the most adverse outcome of the metabolic parameters, dose-dependency seen in bp, BMI and glucose levels. In a multivariable regression analysis Hb levels remained an independently associated parameter for GDM after adjusting for key covariates (OR 1.019, 95% CI [1.007; 1.031]). In conclusion, higher maternal Hb levels within the normal variation are an independent risk factor for GDM in this population but have little effect on perinatal outcome.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 12
Article number: 1686
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-05801-y
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
Funding: This study was supported by the Academy of Finland (Grant 315690 to E.K., Grant 308009 to P.K.), Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation (E.K.), Foundation for Pediatric Research (E.K.), Sigrid Jusélius Foundation (E.K., P.K.), Novo Nordisk Foundation (E.K.) and the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation (P.K.).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 315690
Detailed Information: 315690 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
308009 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
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