Lipid Levels Associated With Pregnancy Complications

High triglycerides during pregnancy may increase gestational diabetes and preeclampsia risk
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of triglycerides during pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus or preeclampsia, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Arnon Wiznitzer, M.D., of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Be'er-Sheva, Israel, and colleagues compared lipid profiles in 9,911 pregnant women without cardiovascular comorbidities 12-months before, during, and 12-months after pregnancy.

The researchers found that 1,209 women (12.2 percent) developed gestational diabetes mellitus or preeclampsia. In addition, lipid levels (total cholesterol and triglycerides) varied during pregnancy, decreasing from pre-pregnancy levels to a low during the first trimester, then gradually increasing and reaching a peak at delivery. High triglyceride levels during pregnancy were associated with a higher risk of gestational diabetes mellitus or preeclampsia, with the prevalence increasing from 7.2 percent for the lowest triglyceride levels to 19.8 percent for the highest levels.

"Maternal levels of lipids during the gestation have a predictable variation and can be categorized as physiological or pathological changes," the authors write. "High triglyceride levels are associated with pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes."

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