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Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Is Prevalent in Women With Prior Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and Independently Associated With Insulin Resistance and Waist Circumference

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


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OBJECTIVE: Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is a potentially reversible condition but is also associated with progressive fibrosis and cirrhosis. Women with prior gestational diabetes mellitus (pGDM) have a higher risk for NAFLD.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: One hundred women without diabetes who had pGDM (median [interquartile range]: age 38.6 [6.4] years; BMI 31.0 [6.2] kg/m(2)) and 11 healthy control subjects without NAFLD (age 37.9 [7.8] years; BMI 28.1 [0.8] kg/m(2)) underwent a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), DXA whole-body scan, and ultrasonic evaluation of hepatic steatosis.

RESULTS: Twenty-four (24%) women with pGDM had NAFLD on the basis of the ultrasound scan. None had cirrhosis. Women with NAFLD had a higher BMI (P = 0.0002) and waist circumference (P = 0.0003), increased insulin resistance (P = 0.0004), and delayed suppression of glucagon after the OGTT (P < 0.0001), but NAFLD was not associated with the degree of glucose intolerance (P = 0.2196). Visceral fat mass differed among the three groups, with the NAFLD group having the highest amount of fat and the control subjects the lowest (P = 0.0003). By logistic regression analysis, insulin resistance (P = 0.0057) and waist circumference (P = 0.0109) were independently associated with NAFLD.

CONCLUSIONS: NAFLD was prevalent in this cohort of relatively young and nonseverely obese women with pGDM who are considered healthy apart from their increased risk for diabetes. Insulin resistance and a larger waist circumference were independently associated with the presence of NAFLD, whereas glucose intolerance was not.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)109-116
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ID: 49189618