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OBJECTIVE: Increased levels of the soluble adhesion molecule sE-selectin have been reported in normoglycaemic women with previous gestational diabetes but not in other groups at increased risk of future type 2 diabetes. To explore the basis for these discrepant findings, we studied the relationship between sE-selectin and glucose regulation in a large group of women with previous gestational diabetes. DESIGN: Comparison of sE-selectin levels between a study cohort ascertained on the basis of recent gestational diabetes and suitable control subjects. PATIENTS: One hundred and forty women with recent gestational diabetes (104 European, 20 South Asian and 16 Afro-Caribbean) and 125 normoglycaemic control women (90 European, 19 South Asian and 16 Afro-Caribbean). MEASUREMENTS: sE-selectin, fasting lipids, insulin and current glucose regulation status. RESULTS: There was no overall difference in sE-selectin levels between women with a history of gestational diabetes and control women among the 3 ethnic groups. European post-GDM women with abnormal glucose regulation postpartum (n = 30) had higher sE-selectin than control women (67 (54-91) ng/ml vs. 57 (43-75) ng/ml, P = 0.049). There was no difference in sE-selectin between normoglycaemic European women with a history of gestational diabetes (n = 74) and control women, even though the former displayed metabolic abnormalities predictive of diabetes. In those European post-GDM women with normal glucose regulation postpartum, sE-selectin levels were negatively correlated with time since delivery (r = -0.25, P = 0.04), suggesting that the previously described elevation of sE-selectin following GDM pregnancies slowly resolves postpartum. There was no correlation between sE-selectin levels and features of insulin resistance. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to previous findings, this larger study does not support a role for sE-selectin as a marker, independent of prevailing glucose levels, of early metabolic abnormalities or future diabetes risk in women with previous gestational diabetes.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Endocrinol (Oxf)

Publication Date





335 - 340


Adult, Asia, Southeastern, Biomarkers, Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Gestational, E-Selectin, Female, Humans, London, Postpartum Period, Pregnancy, West Indies