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Maternal mid-pregnancy lipids and birthweight
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  • Description:

    To describe associations among maternal lipids and birthweight and to determine whether pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) modifies these associations.


    Cohort Study.


    Multiple communities in Michigan, USA.


    Participants were a sub-cohort of women from the multi-community Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Health (POUCH) study (1998–2004).


    Maternal total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDLc), and low-density lipoprotein (LDLc) cholesterol, and triglycerides were assessed at 16–27 weeks’ gestation. Women were classified as having normal (<25 kg/m2) or overweight/obese (≥25 kg/m2) pre-pregnancy BMI.

    Main Outcome Measures

    Sex- and gestational-age-specific BWz-score.


    Regression models examined associations among lipids (low: 1st quartile, referent: middle quartiles, high: 4th quartile) and BWz-scores for the total sample and stratified by pre-pregnancy BMI. In adjusted analyses (n=1207), low HDLc was associated with lower BWz-score (β=−0.23, 95%CI: −0.40 to −0.06) while high triglycerides was associated with higher BWz-score (β=0.23, 95%CI: 0.06–0.41). Once stratified by pre-pregnancy BMI, low total cholesterol was associated with lower BWz-score in normal BMI women (β= −0.25, 95%CI: −0.47 to −0.03), while in overweight/obese BMI women, high HDLc was inversely (β= −0.29, 95%CI: −0.54 to −0.04) and high triglycerides was directly associated with BWz-score (β=0.32, 95%CI: 0.07– 0.54). Removing women with gestational diabetes/hypertensive disorders did not alter the results.


    The associations among maternal lipids and BWz-score vary by lipid measure and pre-pregnancy BMI. Future work should examine whether lipids and pre-pregnancy BMI make unique contributions to the fetal programming of disease.

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  • Funding:
    K12 HD065879/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
    K12HD065879-03/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
    R01 HD034543/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
    R01 HD34543/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
    U01 DP000143/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    U01 DP000143-01/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
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