Subclinical abnormalities of glucose metabolism in Brazilian women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus
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Background. To evaluate insulin release and insulin sensitivity in women with prior gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) to gain a better understanding of type 2 diabetes pathogenesis.Methods. GDM women were individually matched for age, body mass index, and waist/hip ratio with those who were normal glucose tolerant in a previous pregnancy (NGT). All women presented with normal glucose tolerance. Twenty pairs were submitted to the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) with plasma glucose, insulin, and C-peptide determinations. of the 20 pairs, 18 participated in hyperglycemic (10.0 mmol/l) clamp experiments with frequent plasma glucose and insulin determinations, allowing us to calculate first- and second-phase insulin release and the insulin sensitivity index. GDM and NGT women were compared using Student's t-test, the Mann-Whitney U-test, Friedman's non-parametric test, and the two proportion test for independent groups.Results. GDM women showed higher glycosylated hemoglobin values; at OGTT, they showed late insulin peak with increased plasma insulin levels only during the second hour, and a similar plasma C-peptide response despite a higher plasma glucose curve; during hyperglycemic clamp procedures, they showed similar biphasic insulin release and insulin sensitivity index. Considering that a woman with previous GDM had a defect in insulin release and/or insulin sensitivity, if its magnitude was at least 25% lower than that of the matched NGT woman, 43.8% showed impairment of first-phase insulin release and 55.6% insulin resistance.Conclusions. GDM women showed some degree of glucose intolerance. It is therefore necessary to follow them for a longer time.