Objective Maternal lipid metabolism is altered during pregnancy but little is known about the influence of these alterations on intrauterine fetal development. To examine the relationship between offspring birth weight and both fasting cholesterol and triglycerides in women screened selectively for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM).
Methods Prospective observational study in a large university maternity hospital. Women were recruited when they were screened selectively for GDM with a diagnostic 75 g Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). At the time the fasting glucose was obtained an additional sample was taken for a lipid profile.
Results Of the 189 women recruited, the mean age was 32 years, 35.4% (n = 67) were primigravidas, 44.1% (n = 82) were obese and 11.6% (n = 22) had an abnormal OGTT. On univariate analysis, increased birth weight was correlated positively with multiparity, increased first trimester Body Mass Index (BMI), GDM and hypertriglyceridaemia but not cholesterol. On multivariate analysis, increased birth weight correlated positively only with hypertriglyceridaemia.
Conclusions This study provides further evidence that maternal hypertriglyceridaemia may be important in programming intrauterine fetal development and raises questions about whether women should be screened selectively for dyslipidaemia before, during and after pregnancy.
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