, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 149–156 | Cite as

Vitamin B12 insufficiency is associated with increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Eleni KouroglouEmail author
  • Panagiotis Anagnostis
  • Alexandros Daponte
  • Alexandra Bargiota



Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with a plethora of metabolic abnormalities, such as hyperhomocysteinaemia, insulin resistance and defective synthesis of neurotransmitters and fatty acids. Inconsistency exists as to whether vitamin B12 deficiency is also associated with increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The purpose of this study was to systematically review and meta-analyze the existing evidence for this association.


A comprehensive search was conducted in PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane Central up to April 30, 2019. Data are expressed as odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). The I2 index was employed for heterogeneity.


Six studies (n = 1810 pregnant women, 309 GDM cases) fulfilled the eligibility criteria for qualitative and two studies for quantitative analysis. In five studies providing data on vitamin B12 concentrations for both groups, women with GDM had lower vitamin B12 levels when compared with non-GDM women. Women with vitamin B12 deficiency were at higher risk for developing GDM when compared with those who were vitamin B12 sufficient: OR 1.81 (95% CI, 1.25–2.63, I2: 0%). Due to the small number of studies, the role of potential confounders could not be safely estimated.


Vitamin B12 deficiency seems to be associated with increased risk of GDM. More studies are needed to further strengthen this finding and to clarify possible pathogenetic mechanisms.


Gestational diabetes mellitus Pregnancy Diabetes Vitamin B12 deficiency 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12020_2019_2053_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary Table 1.
12020_2019_2053_MOESM2_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary Table 2.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.First Department of Internal MedicineGeneral Hospital of VolosVolosGreece
  2. 2.Unit of Reproductive Endocrinology, First Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medical SchoolAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health SciencesUniversity of ThessalyLarissaGreece
  4. 4.Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health SciencesUniversity of ThessalyLarissaGreece

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