Pregnancy-induced hyperlipoproteinemia: review of the literature

Reprod Sci. 2009 May;16(5):431-7. doi: 10.1177/1933719108330569. Epub 2009 Feb 20.


It is well known that with the effect of hormonal changes during pregnancy, plasma lipid levels increase. Expected elevations for triglyceride and cholesterol levels during a normal gestational period usually do not exceed 332 mg/dL and 337 mg/dL, respectively (corresponding 95th percentile values). However, elevations over the 95th percentile values can be observed during pregnancy, and patients with levels over these expected adaptation levels can be divided into 2 groups: (1) supraphysiologic hyperlipoproteinemia during pregnancy and (2) extreme hyperlipoproteinemia limited to gestational period (triglyceride level >1000 mg/dL). Regarding the first group, some of these patients may develop hyperlipoproteinemia in their future life. What percentage of these women will translate into hyperlipoproteinemia later in life and how efficiently these women can be screened during pregnancy is an enigma. The underlying disorders in the second group of patients at least include dysbetalipoproteinemia, partial lipoprotein lipase deficiency, and apoprotein E3/3 genotype. Pregnancy had been reported to induce severe hyperlipoproteinemia that is limited to gestational period in these disorders. Dysbetalipoproteinemia, partial lipoprotein lipase deficiency, and apoprotein E3/3 genotype probably bring risks and implications to the future life of the carrying individuals although the true extent of the risks is yet to be defined. When disorders unique to gestational period such as gestational diabetes are considered, pregnancy may be accepted as an opportunity to identify women under risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipoproteinemias / blood*
  • Hyperlipoproteinemias / classification
  • Hyperlipoproteinemias / diagnosis*
  • Hyperlipoproteinemias / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / blood*
  • Pregnancy Complications / classification
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors