Acta Diabetologica

, Volume 55, Issue 11, pp 1113–1120 | Cite as

Association between circulating visfatin and gestational diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Wangxin Zhang
  • Dan Zhao
  • Zixiu Meng
  • Huachen Wang
  • Kunsheng Zhao
  • Xia Feng
  • Yuejin Li
  • Aishe DunEmail author
  • Xu JinEmail author
  • Haifeng HouEmail author
Review Article



Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a medical complication of any degree of glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy. Although visfatin is commonly considered to be related to GDM, studies revealed inconsistent results. This study aimed to clarify the relationship between visfatin and GDM.


The protocol for this study was registered in PROSPERO (No. CRD42018086204) in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). PubMed and Embase databases were used to search for relevant studies published up to September 30, 2017. The difference of visfatin levels between women with GDM and the controls was measured by standardised mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI).


Twenty-six studies that were published in 24 articles met the inclusion criteria, in which 2305 participants (1033 with GDM, mean age 31.39 years and 1272 controls, and mean age 29.99 years) were included. The quantitative meta-analysis revealed no significant difference in circulating visfatin levels between women with GDM and the controls (SMD = 0.249, 95% CI = − 0.079 to 0.576, P = 0.137). Subgroup analyses were performed referring to body mass index (BMI) where inconsistent results have been observed between cases and controls groups. For the ten studies, in which the level of BMI in women with GDM was higher than that in the control group, the pooled result showed that circulating visfatin was significantly higher among women with GDM than the controls (SMD = 0.367, 95% CI = 0.06 to 0.728, P = 0.046). Of other 16 studies BMI-matched, the pooled SMD illustrated no difference of visfatin.


Our study elucidates that visfatin is not independently associated with GDM. Visfatin is linked to GDM through maternal overweight/obesity, which is one of the major factors leading to the development of GDM.


Gestational diabetes mellitus Visfatin Body mass index 



We would like to thank Wei Wang, Edith Cowan University School of Medical and Health Sciences, for his help with conducting a scoping review for this study.

Author contributions

HH, AD, and XJ designed the study. WZ, DZ, ZM HW, KZ, XF, and YL conducted the literature search, performed data extraction, and assessed study quality. HH and XJ conducted the statistical analyses. HH and AD wrote the manuscript. All authors interpreted data and revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. HH conceived of the study idea, supervised the study, and is the guarantor.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical standards

This study used published, aggregate data and did not involve human participants or animals. Consequently, research ethics board review was not required.

Informed consent

Not applicable.

Supplementary material

592_2018_1188_MOESM1_ESM.docx (25 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 25 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Basic Medical ScienceTaishan Medical UniversityTaianPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Affiliated HospitalTaishan Medical UniversityTaianPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of Public HealthTaishan Medical UniversityTaianPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.School of Medical and Health SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityPerthAustralia

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