Maternal plasma ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and risk of gestational diabetes mellitus

Zhang, Cuilin, Williams, Michelle A., Sorensen, Tanya K., King, Irena B., Kestin, Mark M., Thompson, Mary Lou, Leisenring, Wendy M., Dashow, Edward E. and Luthy, David A. 2004, Maternal plasma ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, Epidemiology, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 597-604.

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Title Maternal plasma ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and risk of gestational diabetes mellitus
Author(s) Zhang, Cuilin
Williams, Michelle A.
Sorensen, Tanya K.
King, Irena B.
Kestin, Mark M.
Thompson, Mary Lou
Leisenring, Wendy M.
Dashow, Edward E.
Luthy, David A.
Journal name Epidemiology
Volume number 15
Issue number 5
Start page 597
End page 604
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Place of publication Baltimore, Md.
Publication date 2004-09
ISSN 1044-3983
Summary Background : Antioxidants, particularly vitamin C (ascorbic acid), have the capacity to influence glucose tolerance. Modification of diet could reduce the likelihood of developing gestational diabetes mellitus.

Methods : In a prospective cohort study of pregnant women, we studied the association of maternal plasma ascorbic acid concentrations, measured at an average of 13 weeks' gestation, with subsequent risk of gestational diabetes. Maternal plasma ascorbic acid concentrations were determined using automated enzymatic procedures. Dietary vitamin C intake during the periconceptional period and early pregnancy was ascertained using a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. We fitted generalized linear models to derive estimates of relative risks and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results : Approximately 4% (n = 33) of 755 women who completed pregnancy developed gestational diabetes mellitus. Plasma ascorbic acid concentrations were inversely associated with the risk of gestational diabetes (P for trend = 0.023). After adjusting for maternal age, race, prepregnancy adiposity, parity, family history of type 2 diabetes, and household income, women with plasma ascorbic acid <55.9 micromol/L (lowest quartile) experienced a 3.1-fold increased risk of gestational diabetes (95% CI = 1.0 - 9.7) compared with women whose concentrations were > or = 74.6 micromol/L (upper quartile). Women who consumed <70 mg vitamin C daily experienced a 1.8-fold increased risk of gestational diabetes compared with women who consumed higher amounts (95% CI = 0.8 - 4.4).

Conclusions : If confirmed, our results raise the possibility that current efforts to encourage populations to consume diets rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, could reduce the occurrence of gestational diabetes mellitus.
Language eng
Field of Research 111103 Nutritional Physiology
111402 Obstetrics and Gynaecology
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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