Effects of free fatty acids on the course of gestational diabetes mellitus.

AIM OF THE STUDY: The investigation of the influence of maternal serum free fatty acids (FFA) levels on the course of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: On the basis of GDM diagnosis 52 diabetic and 39 non-diabetic pregnant women were recruited to the study. Treatment modalities for diabetic group included diet alone (GDM1; n-36) or a combination of insulin and diet (GDM2; n-16). Maternal serum free fatty acids were measured before treatment, after 4 weeks therapy, during delivery and in umbilical cord blood.

RESULTS: Plasma levels of FFA were higher in GDM pregnant women treated later only by diet compare with GDM patients required later insulin and non-diabetic gravidas. In GDM diet treated group plasma FFA levels progressively decreased with treatment duration. The plasma FFA levels in umbilical cord blood did not differ between the study groups. We found a positive correlation between maternal venous and umbilical cord blood concentration of free fatty acids. Maternal FFA levels positively correlated with neonatal births weight.

CONCLUSION: Elevated plasma FFA levels are associated with GDM and can influence fetal growth. Early and intensified GDM treatment may decrease the level of circulating fatty acids.