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We assessed postprandial thermogenesis (PPT) for 3 h following a mixed meal in 29 normoglycemic European women with previous gestational diabetes (GDM), compared with 37 control women. Given the potential role of catecholamines and insulin in the regulation of PPT, we assessed insulin and catecholamine responses to the meal. There was no significant difference between the two groups in resting energy expenditure, PPT (although lower in the GDM group), or catecholamine levels. However, we observed a difference in the shape of the PPT curve between groups, and by applying a mathematical model, there was a consistent delay in PPT, insulin, and noradrenaline responses to the meal in the GDM group (T: fitted time constant, geometric mean (95% confidence interval), T(PPT) 58 (47-72) vs. 42 (37-48) min, P = 0.006; T(ins) 32 (28-37) vs. 22 (19-27) min, P = 0.002; T(NA) 30 (23-38) vs. 18 (14-23) min, P = 0.01, respectively). Fidgeting activity during the study was assessed by a novel technique and was lower in the GDM group, resting [427 (381-477) vs. 511 (466-560) kJ/min, P = 0.02] but not postprandially. These delayed PPT, insulin, and noradrenaline responses to the meal in post-GDM women represent early metabolic changes. The decrease in fidgeting activity while resting, observed in the post-GDM group, may have physiological significance for energy balance.

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Endocrinol Metab

Publication Date





3407 - 3412


Adult, Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Gestational, Energy Metabolism, Female, Food, Humans, Insulin, Medical Records, Postprandial Period, Pregnancy, Reference Values, Thermogenesis, Time Factors