Trimethylamine N-Oxide and Its Precursors Are Associated with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and Pre-Eclampsia in the Boston Birth Cohort

Kristen L. McArthur, Mingyu Zhang, Xiumei Hong, Guoying Wang, Jessie P. Buckley, Xiaobin Wang, Noel T. Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and its precursors choline, betaine, and carnitine have been associated with cardiometabolic disease in nonpregnant adults. However, studies examining TMAO and its precursors in relation to cardiometabolic conditions during pregnancy are lacking. Objectives: The primary objective was to estimate the association of TMAO and its precursors in maternal and cord plasma with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and pre-eclampsia (PE) among women in the Boston Birth Cohort. A secondary objective was to determine whether associations vary by race/ethnicity. Methods: ORs for each outcome according to tertiles and to an SD increment of TMAO, choline, betaine, and carnitine were estimated using logistic regression. Final models were adjusted for covariates. Results: Among 1496 women, 115 women had GDM and 159 had PE during the index pregnancy. Intermetabolite correlations of TMAO and its precursors were stronger within cord plasma (r = 0.38-0.87) than within maternal plasma (r = 0.08-0.62). Maternal TMAO was associated with higher odds of GDM (third compared with first tertile OR: 1.75; 95% CI: 1.04, 2.94), whereas maternal choline, betaine, and carnitine were not associated with GDM. Maternal TMAO and choline were not associated with PE, whereas carnitine was associated with higher (OR: 1.86; 95% CI: 1.18, 2.94) and betaine with lower odds of PE (OR: 0.37; 95% CI: 0.23, 0.59). In cord plasma, TMAO was not associated with GDM or PE, but choline, betaine, and carnitine were associated with higher odds of PE (OR: 3.11; 95% CI: 1.62, 5.96; OR: 2.65; 95% CI: 1.42, 4.93; OR: 2.56; 95% CI: 1.39, 4.69, respectively). Cord choline was associated with lower odds of GDM (OR: 0.52; 95% CI: 0.27, 0.99), whereas other cord metabolites were not significantly associated with GDM. Associations did not vary by race/ethnicity. Conclusions: TMAO and its precursors were associated with GDM and PE, but the associations differed based on the metabolite medium (maternal compared with cord plasma). This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03228875.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbernzac108
JournalCurrent Developments in Nutrition
Volume6
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Keywords

  • betaine
  • carnitine
  • choline
  • gestational diabetes
  • metabolomics
  • pre-eclampsia
  • pregnancy
  • trimethylamine N-oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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