Association of maternal vitamin B12 and folate levels in early pregnancy with gestational diabetes: a prospective UK cohort study (PRiDE study)

Saravanan, P., Sukumar, N., Adaikalakoteswari, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2974-3388, Goljan, I., Venkataraman, H., Gopinath, A., Bagias, C., Yajnik, C.S., Stallard, N., Ghebremichael-Weldeselassie, Y. and Fall, C.H.D., 2021. Association of maternal vitamin B12 and folate levels in early pregnancy with gestational diabetes: a prospective UK cohort study (PRiDE study). Diabetologia. ISSN 0012-186X

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Abstract

Aims/hypothesis: The prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing worldwide in all ethnic groups. Low vitamin B12 and low/high folate levels may contribute to GDM risk, but there is conflicting evidence. Our aim is to assess the relationships of early pregnancy vitamin B12 and folate levels with the risk of GDM status at 26–28 weeks of gestation.

Methods: This was a prospective, multi-centre, multi-ethnic cohort study (n = 4746) in the UK. Participants who were eligible to be selectively screened as per the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) criteria were included in the study.

Results: GDM prevalence was 12.5% by NICE and 14.7% by International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) criteria. Folate deficiency (1.3%) was rare but B12 insufficiency (42.3% at < 220 pmol/l) and folate excess (36.5%) were common in early pregnancy. Early pregnancy median B12 levels were lower, and folate levels higher, in women who were diagnosed with GDM at 26–28 weeks. B12 was negatively associated with fasting plasma glucose (1 SD: −0.06 mmol/l; 95% CI −0.04, −0.08; p <  0.0001) and 2 h plasma glucose levels (−0.07 mmol/l; 95% CI −0.02, −0.12; p = 0.004). Higher B12 was associated with 14.4% lower RR of IADPSG-GDM (0.856; 95% CI 0.786, 0.933; p = 0.0004) after adjusting for key confounders (age, parity, smoking status, ethnicity, family history, household income and folate status). Approximately half of this association was mediated through BMI. Folate was positively associated with 2 h plasma glucose levels (0.08 mmol/l; 95% CI 0.04, 0.13; p = 0.0005) but its relationship with fasting plasma glucose was U-shaped (quadratic β: 0.011; p = 0.05). Higher folate was associated with 11% higher RR of IADPSG-GDM (adjusted RR 1.11; 95% CI 1.036, 1.182; p = 0.002) (age, parity, smoking status, ethnicity, family history, household income and B12 status). Although no interactions were observed for B12 and folate (as continuous variables) with glucose levels and GDM risk, a low B12–high folate combination was associated with higher blood glucose level and risk of IADPSG-GDM (adjusted RR 1.742; 95% CI 1.226, 2.437; p = 0.003).

Conclusions/interpretation: B12 insufficiency and folate excess were common in early pregnancy. Low B12 and high folate levels in early pregnancy were associated with small but statistically significant changes in maternal blood glucose level and higher RR of GDM. Our findings warrant additional studies on the role of unmetabolised folic acid in glucose metabolism and investigating the effect of optimising early pregnancy or pre-conception B12 and folate levels on subsequent hyperglycaemia.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Diabetologia
Creators: Saravanan, P., Sukumar, N., Adaikalakoteswari, A., Goljan, I., Venkataraman, H., Gopinath, A., Bagias, C., Yajnik, C.S., Stallard, N., Ghebremichael-Weldeselassie, Y. and Fall, C.H.D.
Publisher: Springer
Date: 22 July 2021
ISSN: 0012-186X
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1007/s00125-021-05510-7DOI
1435586Other
Rights: ©The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 11 May 2021 07:40
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2021 12:23
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42844

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