We investigated the relationship between maternal circulating fatty acids (FAs) and dietary FA intake in pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM; n = 49), women with hyperglycemia less severe than GDM (impaired glucose challenge test [GCT] non-GDM; n = 80), and normal control subjects ( n = 98).
A case-control design was nested within a prospective cohort of healthy pregnant women. Fasting concentrations of serum total FAs (enzymatic assay) and FA composition (gas chromatography–mass spectrometry) were determined at entry and the third trimester. Dietary fat intake data were obtained from 24-h recalls.
There was a graded increase among groups (control subjects, impaired GCT non-GDM, and GDM) during the third trimester for total FAs and individual FAs, including myristic, palmitic, palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic, arachidonic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic acids ( P for trend <0.03 to P < 0.001). Similar relationships were observed at entry in total FAs and for four FAs (myristic, palmitic, palmitoleic, and eicosapentaenoic acids). Women with impaired GCT non-GDM with BMI ≥25 kg/m 2 had the highest levels of FAs at entry, whereas women with GDM with BMI ≥25 kg/m 2 had the highest levels during the third trimester, and all grouped FAs were significantly different from lean women with impaired GCT non-GDM or control subjects ( P < 0.05). Dietary intake of polyunsaturated FAs was decreased, but saturated FAs were increased in GDM compared with impaired GCT non-GDM or control subjects ( P < 0.05).