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BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2018 Apr 13;6(1):e000456. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2017-000456. eCollection 2018.

Metformin in gestational diabetes: the offspring follow-up (MiG TOFU): body composition and metabolic outcomes at 7-9 years of age.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics, National Women's Health at Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand.
Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
Department of Surgery, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
Department of Obstetrics, Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia.



To compare body composition and metabolic outcomes at 7-9 years in offspring of women with gestational diabetes (GDM) randomized to metformin (┬▒insulin) or insulin treatment during pregnancy.

Research design and methods:

Children were assessed at 7 years in Adelaide (n=109/181) and 9 years in Auckland (n=99/396) by anthropometry, bioimpedance analysis (BIA), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (n=92/99) and fasting bloods (n=82/99).


In the Adelaide subgroup, mothers were similar at enrollment. Women randomized to metformin versus insulin had higher treatment glycemia (p=0.002) and more infants with birth weight >90th percentile (20.7% vs 5.9%; p=0.029). At 7 years, there were no differences in offspring measures. In Auckland, at enrollment, women randomized to metformin had a higher body mass index (BMI) (p=0.08) but gained less weight during treatment (p=0.07). Offspring birth measures were similar. At 9 years, metformin offspring were larger by measures of weight, arm and waist circumferences, waist:height (p<0.05); BMI, triceps skinfold (p=0.05); DXA fat mass and lean mass (p=0.07); MRI abdominal fat volume (p=0.051). Body fat percent was similar between treatment groups by DXA and BIA. Abdominal fat percentages (visceral adipose tissue, subcutaneous adipose tissue and liver) were similar by MRI. Fasting glucose, triglyceride, insulin, insulin resistance, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), cholesterol, liver transaminases, leptin and adiponectin were similar.


Metformin or insulin for GDM was associated with similar offspring total and abdominal body fat percent and metabolic measures at 7-9 years. Metformin-exposed children were larger at 9 years. Metformin may interact with fetal environmental factors to influence offspring outcomes.


gestational diabetes mellitus; insulin; metformin; offspring

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