Fetal-sex-specific changes to placental immunity and metabolism occur in response to obesity. Few studies have determined if fetal sex interacts with maternal characteristics to alter risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Among 43,727 singleton pregnancies, we examined the association between male fetal sex and GDM using log-binomial logistic regression to calculate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Interactions were examined between fetal sex and maternal characteristics on the risk of GDM by calculating relative excess risk due to interaction. After adjusting for body mass index, race/ethnicity, maternal age, education, and gravidity, male fetal sex was not associated with GDM (RRadj. 0.95, 95% CI 0.93, 1.04). We found a positive interaction between male fetal sex and obesity (p = 0.04). Nonobese women with male fetuses were less likely to develop GDM, but in the presence of obesity, an opposite trend was observed. There was a positive interaction between male fetal sex and GDM on the risk of preterm delivery < 37-weeks gestation (p = 0.0006). In response to underlying maternal obesity, fetal sex may modify the risk of GDM. In addition, male fetal sex may increase the occurrence of preterm birth among women with GDM.
- Fetal sex
- Gestational diabetes mellitus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology