Association of increased maternal ferritin levels with gestational diabetes and intra-uterine growth retardation

1st Department of Neonatology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Diabetes & Metabolism (Impact Factor: 3.27). 02/2010; 36(1):58-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.diabet.2009.06.010
Source: PubMed


The objectives of the present study were to determine whether or not increased serum ferritin in women with premature labour is associated with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and intra-uterine growth retardation (IUGR) and, if so, whether or not such increased levels reflect excess maternal iron stores, and have an effect on neonatal iron status and outcome.
This prospective, single-hospital, observational study involved 63 mothers and their 90 preterm neonates. Full blood counts as well as serum ferritin, soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) and erythropoietin concentrations were compared across the three study groups based on maternal ferritin levels at the time of delivery. Perinatal history, neonatal morbidity and early outcomes were also assessed.
High maternal ferritin levels were significantly associated with higher rates of GDM and IUGR. However, there was no correlation between maternal ferritin and sTfR levels or between maternal and neonatal iron status.
Elevated maternal ferritin is not a reflection of excess iron stores, but is related to an increased risk of GDM or IUGR. Also, maternal ferritin levels are not associated with either neonatal iron status or neonatal outcomes.

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    • "High haemoglobin (Hb) level in early pregnancy has been positively (Lao et al. 2002) and low Hb level negatively (Lao & Ho 2004) associated with the risk of GDM, although not in all studies (Chen et al. 2006). Higher levels of serum ferritin, transferrin and some other markers of iron stores have been found among women with GDM compared with women without GDM (Lao et al. 2001; Chen et al. 2006; Afkhami-Ardekani & Rashidi 2009; Soubasi et al. 2010; Derbent et al. 2013). Serum ferritin level is also elevated in inflammatory states and therefore may not necessarily indicate increased body iron stores (Williams et al. 2002; Mainous et al. 2004). "
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