Hormonal parameters during the last trimester of pregnancy contribute to a natural increase of insulin resistance. It is not known whether any of these are further involved in the manifestation of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in affected individuals. Basal levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone, cortisol, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-I, prolactin, glucagon, estradiol, progesterone, human placental lactogen and human chorionic gonadotropin were investigated in 15 nonobese women with GDM and 26 matched normal pregnant women (N). A linear discriminant analysis was performed to further compare the predictive value of the basal hormone levels. Plasma glucagon levels were significantly higher in the GDM group (p = 0.014); this difference was even higher (p = 0.007) when the number of women was increased (GDM = 33, N = 62). No significant differences were found in the levels of any of the other hormones. It is not clear whether elevated glucagon levels have any involvement in the pathogenesis of GDM or simply reflect the relative insulin deficiency of these women.

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