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Reduced fetal telomere length in gestational diabetes.

Authors: Jian J. Xu, Junyi J. Ye, Yanting Y. Wu, Hong H. Zhang, Qiong Q. Luo, Cong C. Han, Xiaoqun X. Ye, Hanzhi H. Wang, Jing J. He, Hefeng H. Huang, Yun Y. Liu, Minyue M. Dong
Published: 01/22/2014, PloS one


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is an important complication of pregnancy that poses significant threats to women and their offspring. Telomere length shortens as cellular damage increases and is associated with metabolic diseases. Telomere length in fetal leucocytes was determined in 82 infants of women with GDM (N = 82) and 65 normal pregnant women (N = 65). Women with preeclampsia (N = 45) and gestational hypertension (N = 23) were also studied. In the GDM group, telomere length was significantly shorter than normal pregnancy (P = 0.028), but there were no significant differences in fetal telomere length between preeclampsia and normal pregnancy (P = 0.841) and between gestational hypertension and normal pregnancy (P = 0.561). Regression analysis revealed that fetal telomere length was significantly associated with intrauterine exposure to GDM (P = 0.027 after adjustment for maternal age, gestational age at delivery, birth weight and fetal gender). Shortened telomere length may increase the risk of metabolic diseases in adulthood of GDM offspring.

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