Hypercholesterolaemia in pregnancy as a predictor of adverse pregnancy outcome

  • AO Maymunah
  • O Kehinde
  • G Abidoye
  • A Oluwatosin
Keywords: Adverse birth outcome, cholesterol, hypercholesterolaemia, LBW, preterm births


Background: Prevention of viable spontaneous preterm birth and low birth weight through screening is one of the key aims of antenatal care as these have implications for the child, mother and society. If women can be identified to be at high risk of these adverse birth outcomes in early pregnancy, they can be targeted for more intensive antenatal surveillance and prophylactic interventions.
Objectives: This study is therefore aimed to determine the association between elevated maternal serum cholesterol level in pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcome.
Methods: It was a prospective observational cohort study in which eligible participants were enrolled at gestational age of 14 to 20 weeks. Blood samples were obtained to measure total serum cholesterol concentrations and the sera were then analyzed enzymatically by the cholesterol oxidase: p-aminophenazone (CHOD PAP) method. Pregnancy outcomes were obtained by extraction from medical records and the labour ward register.
Results: The incidences of the two adverse pregnancy outcomes examined in the study (preterm births and low birth weight (LBW) in term neonates) were 8.0% and 14.4% respectively. Preterm birth was 6.89-times more common in mothers with high cholesterol than in control mothers with normal total cholesterol level (38.5% versus 5.4%, P=0.029) while LBW was 7.99-times more common in mothers with high total maternal cholesterol than in mothers with normal cholesterol (87.5% versus 10.5%, P=0.019).
Conclusion: We can infer that the high maternal serum cholesterol hypercholesterolaemia) is associated with preterm delivery/ low birth weight (LBW) in term infants. However, further validation of these findings with more robust prospective and longitudinal characterization of maternal serum cholesterol profiles is required in subsequent investigations.

Keywords: Adverse birth outcome, cholesterol, hypercholesterolaemia, LBW, preterm births


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eISSN: 1680-6905