Early pregnancy metabolic factors associated with gestational diabetes mellitus in normal-weight women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A two-phase cohort study

Wei Zheng, Wenyu Huang, Li Zhang, Zhihong Tian, Qi Yan, Teng Wang, Lirui Zhang, Guanghui Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been consistently associated with subsequent gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Women with PCOS showed a high prevalence of obesity, which raises the question regarding the role of obesity or PCOS pe ser in development of GDM. In this study we conducted a 2-phase study to compare the risk of GDM and its associated early pregnancy metabolic factors in women with and without PCOS, stratified by pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). Methods: A 2-phase design was used in this study. The initial phase of the study included 566 age- and pre-pregnancy BMI-matched singleton pregnant women (242 with and 324 without PCOS). Risk of GDM and associated early-pregnancy risk factors were explored between women with and without PCOS, after stratification by pre-pregnancy BMI. Stratified analysis was conducted in normal weight (pre-pregnancy BMI < 25 kg/m2) and overweight/obese (pre-pregnancy BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) groups. Subsequently, the findings was confirmed in a separate cohort study with 18,106 participants (877 with and 17,229 without PCOS). Results: Overall, prevalence of GDM is higher in women with PCOS. Results from the initial study showed that in normal-weight subjects, there is a significant increase in GDM prevalence in PCOS women than non-PCOS women (26.5% vs. 16.2%, p = 0.02). Additionally, normal-weight PCOS women showed higher triglycerides levels (1.51 ± 0.84 mmol/L vs. 1.30 ± 0.75 mmol/L, p = 0.02), lower SHBG levels (277.8 ± 110.2 nmol/L vs. 330.5 ± 180.4 nmol/L, p = 0.001) and a possible trend towards higher insulin resistance (LogHoMA-IR 0.70 ± 0.55 vs. 0.57 ± 0.57, p = 0.05) during early pregnancy. However, in overweight/obese group, no difference in risk of GDM was observed between PCOS and non-PCOS subjects (p = 0.7). Results from the independent cohort confirmed the risk for GDM associated with PCOS in normal weight women (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: Consistent findings from the 2-phase study showed an increased risk of GDM in normal-weight, but not overweight/obese PCOS women. Analysis of early-pregnancy risk factors of GDM suggested that the pathogenesis of GDM in normal weight and overweight/obese women with PCOS may be different.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number71
JournalDiabetology and Metabolic Syndrome
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 23 2019


  • Body mass index
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic indicators
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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