Main Article Content
Aims: Micronutrients such as chromium, iron, magnesium and zinc can serve as good therapeutic and preventive agents for several diabetes complications including Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). The aim of this study was to compare the serum levels of chromium, iron, zinc and magnesium in pregnant women with and without GDM and to assess the association between the levels of these minerals and GDM.
Study Design: A cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Antenatal clinics in five selected hospitals in Ashanti region of Ghana between August 2016 to August 2017.
Methodology: A total of 50 pregnant women with GDM and 50 controls of the same gestational age participated in the study. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information on demographic and clinical characteristics. Standard oral glucose tolerance test was used to measure glucose profile. Serum levels of chromium, iron, zinc and magnesium were measured using the atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS).
Results: The results indicated that 14% of the respondents with GDM had a previous history of gestational diabetes. However, there was no previous history among the control group. Serum zinc was not significantly different in the two groups (0.052 ± 0.01 mg/dl; 0.093 ± 0.03 mg/dl, p=0.276). Iron levels in the GDM group were high (0.956 ± 0.35 mg/dl) compared with the control group (0.635± 0.41 mg/dl). There was no significant difference of the serum magnesium level in the two groups (p=0.967). Chromium was higher in the GDM group (0.051±0.05) than the control group (0.012±0.06). There was a significant positive correlation between iron (r = 0.303, p = 0.000) and chromium (r = 0.302, p= 0.002) with the markers of GDM.
Conclusion: The study showed that high serum concentration of iron is associated with hyperglycemia. Serum magnesium and zinc levels did not exhibit any significant differences between GDM women and nondiabetic women. It is recommended that micronutrients supplementation during pregnancy needs to be carefully examined and commence only when significant deficiencies are observed.