Background/Aims: Intrauterine exposure to hyperglycemia might impact the risk for future metabolic deteriorations. The aim was to characterize the association between different adipokines and neuropeptides and insulin resistance and BMI-SDS in children affected by diabetes during pregnancy. Methods: 76 children (mean age: 6 years, male:female = 36:40) born to mothers with gestational or pregestational diabetes and nondiabetic women were consecutively included for clinical assessments comprising anthropometrics and metabolic characterization [2-hour glucose tolerance test, leptin, peptide YY (PYY), neuropeptide Y (NPY), ghrelin, growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15), and adiponectin]. Results: The level of insulin resistance was associated with BMI-SDS (p < 0.001), leptin (p < 0.001), ghrelin (p = 0.002), age (p < 0.002) and negatively with GDF-15 (p = 0.005). BMI-SDS, leptin and GDF-15 were shown to have independent effects on insulin resistance by using a multiple regression model (additionally including age, and maternal diabetes status), whereas ghrelin lost significance (p = 0.345). No differences were present in adipokines and insulin resistance when children were evaluated by maternal glucometabolic status. However, we observed more strengthened associations between insulin resistance and covariates BMI-SDS and leptin in offspring of diabetic pregnancies. Conclusions: Young children with elevated BMI or leptin are affected by higher indices of insulin resistance, particularly those who were born to mothers with diabetes during pregnancy. The impact of this special risk constellation should be considered in future studies.

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