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Nonalcoholic fatty liver can lead to gestational diabetes
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2019.04.16 11:17
  • Updated 2019.04.16 13:53
  • comments 0

Researchers at Seoul National University Hospital have found that pregnant women with nonalcoholic fatty liver have a higher risk of suffering from gestational diabetes, the hospital said Tuesday.

Professor Park Joong-shin

The team, led by Professors Park Joong-shin and Lee Seung-mi of the department of obstetrics and gynecology, concluded so after examining the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver and gestational diabetes in 608 pregnant women. Professors Kim Won, Kim Byoung-jae and Kim Sun-min from Seoul National University Boramae Hospital and Oh Ig-hwan and Koo Ja-nam from Seoul Women’s Hospital also participated in the study.

The team analyzed the fatty liver index by using liver ultrasonography and blood tests. As a result, the prevalence of gestational diabetes was 3.2 percent in normal pregnant women. However, the prevalence of gestational diabetes in pregnant women who had nonalcoholic fatty liver was 10.5 percent for patients with grade 1 steatosis and 42.3 percent for patients with grade 2 and 3 steatosis.

While there are two proteins – adiponectin and selenium – that maintain adequate levels of hepatic steatosis and glucose in the body, the team found that non-alcoholic fatty liver patients generally do not secrete adiponectin and selenoprotein, which causes metabolic dysfunction.

Adiponectin is a protein secreted by adipocytes that improve insulin resistance, while selenium produces selenoprotein, an antioxidant.

“As nonalcoholic fatty liver is at high risk for gestational diabetes, careful management is needed,” Professor Park said. “Measuring adiponectin and selenoprotein levels through a simple blood test at early pregnancy, especially during week 10 to 14, is very effective in predicting the onset of the disease.”

Diabetologia published the result of the study.


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