Background: Vast amounts of data show associations between maternal obesity, dysglycemia, diabetes, and undernutrition during pregnancy and increased cardiovascular disease risk in offspring. However, elevated maternal LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) in pregnancy and offspring cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk has scarcely been studied.
Objective: Our objective was to investigate the associations between elevated maternal LDL-C in pregnancy and CVD risk factors in 6-to-13-year-old offspring.
Methods: We recruited 6-to-13-year-old children whose mothers attended a pregnancy cohort and who had high or low cholesterol in pregnancy, defined as LDL-C over the 90th percentile or below the 10th percentile within the pregnancy cohort, respectively. We measured CVD risk factors in the children in the 2 groups.
Results: Maternal plasma LDL-C at gestational week 14 to 16 was 4.0 and 1.4 mmol/L in the hypercholesterolemic (n = 27) and hypocholesterolemic (n = 34) groups, respectively (P < .001). Interestingly, offspring plasma LDL-C was 0.4 mmol/L higher in children whose mothers had hypercholesterolemia during pregnancy (P < .01). We found no difference in birthweight or any other clinical or biochemical CVD risk factors or dietary intake between the children at 6-13 years.
Conclusions: Women with elevated LDL-C during early pregnancy have offspring with higher LDL-C already at the age of 6-13 years. Unless cholesterol-reducing measures are successfully implemented, the affected children may be at increased cardiovascular risk.
Keywords: Children; Hypercholesterolemia; LDL; Pregnancy; Risk factors.
Copyright Â© 2016 National Lipid Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.