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A single antenatal course of betamethasone adversely affects glucose regulation in adulthood and the next generation in childhood
International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology volume 2015, Article number: O22 (2015)
To assess whether a single antenatal course of betamethasone affects insulin sensitivity and other metabolic parameters in the offspring, and whether effects are transmitted to the next generation.
A cohort of 52 adults (aged 35.7 years, 46% men, 23 born after steroid treatment) and their term-born children (n=61, aged 8.0 years, 52% boys, 49% from a parent born after steroid treatment), was recruited in Auckland. Insulin sensitivity and secretion were assessed using hyperglycaemic clamps in adults, and HOMA-IR in children. Other assessments included DXA-derived body composition, lipid profile, adipokines, and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.
Insulin sensitivity over the last 60 minutes of the hyperglycaemic clamp was 31% lower in the Steroid group (p=0.048), with a similar trend for overall insulin sensitivity (p=0.061). Steroid adults had a compensatory increase in first-phase insulin that was 53% higher than in controls (p=0.031), with total insulin secretion 44% higher in the Steroid group (p=0.044). Children of parents born after steroid treatment had higher fasting glucose (p=0.049) and insulin (p=0.008) concentrations than controls. HOMA-IR values indicated that children in the Steroid group were more insulin resistant than controls (p=0.006).
This study shows that maternal treatment with a single dose of betamethasone is associated with reduced insulin sensitivity in the offspring in mid-adulthood. Importantly, there is indication of an inter-generational effect, with the subsequent generation displaying increased insulin resistance.
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Mathai, S., Derraik, J., Cutfield, W. et al. A single antenatal course of betamethasone adversely affects glucose regulation in adulthood and the next generation in childhood. Int J Pediatr Endocrinol 2015, O22 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1186/1687-9856-2015-S1-O22
- Insulin Sensitivity
- Ambulatory Blood Pressure
- Steroid Treatment
- Blood Pressure Monitoring