Effect of antenatal betamethasone on blood glucose levels in women with and without diabetes

Jennifer A. Jolley*, Priya V. Rajan, Rita Petersen, Alex Fong, Deborah A. Wing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective To characterize the maternal glycemic response to betamethasone in subjects without diabetes compared to subjects with diabetes. Study design Blood glucose levels in 22 gravidae without diabetes and 11 gravidae with diabetes were recorded for 48 h following betamethasone administration for threatened preterm delivery. Maximum blood glucose value and time to maximum value were compared. Area under the curve calculations were used to express the duration and degree of significant hyperglycemia for individual subjects. These summary measures were then correlated to subject characteristics and laboratory values to determine a risk profile of those subjects without diabetes at risk for significant hyperglycemia. Results All subjects with diabetes and the majority of those without diabetes had significant hyperglycemia during the study period. Mean maximum blood glucose was higher for those with diabetes (205 mg/dL vs. 173 mg/dL, p ⩽ 0.01). Mean time to reach the maximum glucose level was similar for both groups. Result of a glucose tolerance test given immediately prior to betamethasone correlated strongly with amount of time spent with hyperglycemia for subjects without diabetes (rho = 0.59, p ⩽ 0.01). Morbidly obese subjects spent less time with hyperglycemia than those with lower body mass indices (p = 0.03). Conclusion Both subjects with and without diabetes demonstrate significant hyperglycemia after receipt of antenatal betamethasone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Corticosteroids
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Glycemic response
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Pregnancy complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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