Research Article: Circulating sex hormone binding globulin: An integrating biomarker for an adverse cardio-metabolic profile in obese pregnant women

Date Published: October 15, 2018

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Sílvia Xargay-Torrent, Gemma Carreras-Badosa, Sara Borrat-Padrosa, Anna Prats-Puig, Pilar Soriano, Elena Álvarez-Castaño, Mª Jose Ferri, Francis De Zegher, Lourdes Ibáñez, Abel López-Bermejo, Judit Bassols, Zhong-Cheng Luo.


Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) negatively associates with pre-gestational body mass index (BMI) and gestational weight gain. The link with other cardio-metabolic risk factors in pregnant women is poorly understood. Our aim was to study the association of SHBG levels with common cardio-metabolic risk parameters in pregnant woman.

Partial Text

Obesity is a well-known worldwide epidemic condition that affects men, women and children. In recent years, much attention has been paid to obesity during pregnancy, which has not only adverse effects on the mothers’ health but also on the developing fetus [1]. Pregnant women with obesity have increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance and gestational diabetes (GDM) and increased risk of delivering a large for gestational age baby [1]. Offspring of obese women have also increased risk of obesity and obesity-related negative health outcomes later in life, such as increased carotid-intima thickness, higher body mass index, increased blood pressure or adverse lipid profile throughout childhood, adolescence, and as young adults [2,3]. Women can enter pregnancy with a body mass index (BMI) in the overweight or obese range or gain excessive weight during gestation and it is difficult to determine the separate or interdependent contributions of prepregnancy BMI and gestational weight gain on the metabolic outcomes for the mother and the offspring [4].

Clinical and laboratory characteristics of the study subjects are summarized in Table 1. Women with pregestational, gestational obesity or pregestaional plus gestational obesity showed lower SHBG values than normal weight women (p = 0.05, p = 0.05 and p<0.001 respectively; Table 1). SHBG levels are decreased in pregnant women with pregestational plus gestational obesity and are correlated with a less favorable cardio-metabolic profile (more CRP, DBP, SBP, insulin, C-peptide, HOMA-IR and less HMW adiponectin).   Source:


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