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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 94-98

Predictive significance of low maternal serum cholesterol concentrations in early pregnancy on low birth weight in term neonates

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kehinde Sharafadeen Okunade
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajmhs.ajmhs_50_17

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Background: Low- birthweight (LBW) is the single most powerful predictor of mortality in the first few months of life, especially in most developing countries. The physiologic hypercholesterolemia of later pregnancy suggests an adaptive function for pregnancy maintenance or fetal growth. Decreased levels of maternal total cholesterol have been reported in association with intrauterine growth restriction. Aim: The aim of this study is to assess the association between low maternal serum cholesterol during early pregnancy and LBW in term neonates. Patients and Methods: This was a prospective cohort study in which eligible participants were enrolled at the gestational age of 14–20 weeks over a period of 12 months. Blood samples were taken to measure the total serum cholesterol concentrations, and the sera were then analyzed enzymatically by the cholesterol oxidase: p-aminophenazone method. Association between low maternal serum cholesterol and LBW was tested by using Chi-square. All significances are reported at P < 0.05. Results: The present study showed an incidence of 13.4% for delivery of LBW babies in the low-risk study patients. LBW was 2.05 times more common with low total maternal cholesterol than with normal midrange maternal cholesterol levels (21.1% vs. 10.3%, P = 0.039). Conclusion: We can infer from the study that the low maternal serum cholesterol is associated with LBW in term neonates. We can, therefore, recommend that the concept of an optimal range for maternal serum cholesterol during pregnancy may have merit and pregnant women should be encouraged to follow a healthy, balanced diet, and ensure regular antenatal visit to their health-care provider.

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