(HealthDay News) — Low prepregnancy sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations correlate with increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), according to a study published online February 21 in Diabetes Care.

Monique M. Hedderson, PhD, from Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues examined whether prepregnancy SHBG concentrations correlate with the risk of GDM. Data were obtained for women free of diabetes who participated in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Multiphasic Health Check-up examination (1984–1996) and had a subsequent pregnancy (1984–2009). Cases included 256 women who developed GDM and who were each matched with two controls.

The researchers found that after adjustment for family history of diabetes, prepregnancy body mass index, race/ethnicity, alcohol use, prepregnancy weight changes, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, the odds of GDM increased with decreasing quartile of SHBG concentrations versus the highest quartile (odds ratios, 1.06, 2.33, and 4.06; P for trend <0.001). The odds of GDM were increased more than five-fold for women with SHBG levels below the median (<64.5 nmol/L) and a body mass index ≥25.0 kg/m², compared with normal-weight women with SHBG levels at or above the median (odds ratio, 5.34).

“Low prepregnancy SHBG concentrations were associated with increased risk of GDM and might be useful in identifying women at risk for GDM for early prevention strategies,” the authors write.

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