Relationship between vitamin D status in the first trimester of pregnancy and gestational diabetes mellitus – A nested case-control study.


Background & aims: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is one of the most frequent medical complications during pregnancy. It has been associated with many adverse pregnancy, fetal and neonatal outcomes, as well as with an increased risk for mothers and children in the long term. There is a growing interest in vitamin D and its potential role in the development of metabolic disorders. However, the medical literature is not consensual. The aim of this study was to assess the risk of GDM according to vitamin D status during the first trimester.

Methods: This study is a nested case-control study performed from a multicenter prospective observational cohort of pregnant women assessed for 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (25OHD). Three hundred ninety-three patients were included in the initial cohort. After applying exclusion criteria, a total of 1191 pregnant women were included. Two hundred fifty women with GDM (cases) were matched to 941 women without GDM (controls) for parity, age, body mass index before pregnancy, the season of conception, and phototype. This study was funded by a grant from the « Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Publique 2010 ».

Results: The GDM risk was significantly greater for patients with 25OHD levels <20 ng/mL (OR = 1∙42, 95% CI 1∙06-1∙91; p = 0∙021). However, there was no significant relationship with other thresholds. The study of 25OHD levels with the more precise cutting of 5 units intervals showed a variable relationship with GDM risk, as the risk was low for very low 25OHD levels, increased for moderated levels, decreased for normal levels, and finally increased for higher levels.

Conclusion: According to our study, there seems to be no linear relationship between GDM and 25OHD levels in the first trimester of pregnancy since GDM risk does not continuously decrease as 25OHD concentrations increase. Our results most probably highlight the absence of an association between 25OHD levels and GDM risk.