Trace elements as predictors of preeclampsia in type 1 diabetic pregnancy

Arpita Basu, Jeremy Y. Yu, Alicia J. Jenkins, Alison J. Nankervis, Kristian F. Hanssen, Tore Henriksen, Bjørg Lorentzen, Satish K. Garg, M. Kathryn Menard, Samar M. Hammad, James A. Scardo, Christopher E. Aston, Timothy J. Lyons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Preeclampsia (PE) affects approximately 5% of all pregnancies, but is increased several-fold in women with pre-gestational type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Increased oxidative stress and altered maternal plasma trace elements that modulate the antioxidant system have been implicated in PE. In non-diabetic women, increased plasma copper and iron and decreased manganese, selenium, and zinc have been associated with PE in cross-sectional studies. In a longitudinal study, we hypothesized that plasma levels of trace elements differ between T1DM women with vs. without subsequent PE. Samples were collected during the first (gestation 12.2 ± 1.9 weeks, [mean ± SD]), second (21.6 ± 1.5 weeks), and third (31.5 ± 1.7 weeks) trimesters of pregnancy, all before the onset of PE. We compared 23 T1DM women who subsequently developed PE with 24 T1DM women who remained normotensive; and we included 19 non-diabetic (non-DM) normotensive pregnant women as reference controls. Trace elements were measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. In T1DM women with subsequent PE vs normotensive, only plasma zinc was significantly higher at the first trimester, while copper:zinc and copper:high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratios were higher throughout gestation (all P < .05). These findings persisted after adjustment for covariates. Higher copper:zinc ratios may contribute to oxidative stress in T1DM women who develop PE. Ratios of pro- to anti-oxidant factors may predict risk for PE in diabetic pregnancies more effectively than individual trace element levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-30
Number of pages10
JournalNutrition research (New York, N.Y.)
Issue number5
Early online date11 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


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