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Neonatal Size Unaffected by Gestational Diabetes Drugs

FRIDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women with gestational diabetes mellitus treated with metformin or insulin have similar changes in markers of metabolic status and no differences in offspring birth weight, according to a study published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

Helen L. Barrett, M.B.B.S., from the University of Queensland in Herston, Australia, and colleagues examined the association between circulating maternal and neonatal markers of metabolic status (glucose, lipids, C-reactive protein) with infant size at birth in women with gestational diabetes mellitus, where 236 women had been randomly assigned to metformin and 242 had been randomly assigned to insulin.

The researchers found that women treated with metformin had a significantly greater increase in maternal plasma triglycerides at 36 weeks of gestation (21.93 versus 9.69 percent). There were no other differences between treatment groups for maternal or neonatal metabolic markers or neonatal anthropometry. After adjusting for possible confounding variables, including maternal body mass index, a birth weight in the >90th percentile was associated with markers of insulin resistance, maternal glucose control, and triglycerides, while a birth weight in the <10th percentile was associated with triglycerides.

"There were few differences in circulating maternal and neonatal markers of metabolic status and no differences in measures of anthropometry between the offspring of women treated with metformin and the offspring of women treated with insulin," Barrett and colleagues conclude.

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