Low-grade inflammation in young adults exposed to intrauterine hyperglycemia.
ABSTRACT To investigate associations between fetal exposure to intrauterine hyperglycemia and plasma concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) in adult offspring.
We studied 597 offspring, aged 18-27 years, from four different groups concerning exposure to intrauterine hyperglycemia and genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes (offspring of women with: gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), risk factors for GDM but normal glucose tolerance, type 1 diabetes and women from the background population, respectively). The participants were characterized by fasting plasma levels of IL-6 and hs-CRP, a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and anthropometric measurements.
No association between intrauterine exposure to hyperglycemia and levels of IL-6 and hs-CRP in the offspring was found. In contrast maternal overweight (body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m(2)) was positively associated with levels of both IL-6 and hs-CRP (p for both=0.003). Offspring who had already developed overweight or conditions of abnormal glucose tolerance were characterized by higher levels of IL-6 and hs-CRP compared with the remaining offspring (all p<0.007).
Maternal overweight but not exposure to intrauterine hyperglycemia was associated with low-grade inflammation in adult offspring.