Short women may be predisposed to gestational diabetes
Maternal height is implicated in the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), such that women with short stature are at high risk, according to the results of a meta-analysis.
Researchers performed a systematic review using multiple online databases and retrieved 10 studies that assessed maternal height in relation to GDM. The cumulative population included 126,094 women.
Of the studies, five were prospective, two were retrospective and three were cross-sectional. Four studies were conducted in Asia, three in Europe, two in the US and one in Brazil. The cutoffs used to differentiate between shortest and tallest height categories varied among the studies, ranging from ≤151 to ≤169 cm and ≥158 to >170 cm, respectively. Only one study did not use the oral glucose tolerance test to diagnose GDM.
Calculated using a fixed- or random-effects model, pooled estimates revealed that each 5-cm increase in height was associated with about a 20-percent reduction in the risk of GDM (pooled odds ratio [OR], 0.80, 95 percent CI, 0.76–0.85). There was a high degree of heterogeneity among studies (I2, 72.7 percent; p=0.001).
On further analysis stratified by study design, ORs for GDM associated with every 5-cm height increase were as follows: 0.74 (0.71, 0.78) in the cross-sectional studies, 0.80 (0.78, 0.82) in the retrospective cohort and 0.89 (0.83, 0.95) in the prospective cohort. There was no evidence of heterogeneity within each study design (I2, <10 percent; p>0.35).
The significant association between maternal stature and GDM risk did not differ between Asian and non-Asian populations. Moreover, Egger's and Begg's tests showed little evidence of publication bias.
Findings of the meta-analysis should be validated in further studies of higher quality, the researchers said.