Maternal Serum Lipid Trajectories and Association with Pregnancy Loss and Length of Gestation

Am J Perinatol. 2020 Jul;37(9):914-923. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1689000. Epub 2019 Jun 2.


Objective: We characterized lipid trajectories and investigated lipids and rate of pregnancy lipid change with the risk of pregnancy loss or preterm delivery <37 weeks.

Study design: In a secondary analysis of 337 women with one to two prior losses assigned to placebo in a randomized controlled trial at four centers (2007-2012), cholesterol, low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides were measured up to 6 months prepregnancy (time 0) and pregnancy up to 7 visits. Trajectories were created using linear mixed models. Multivariable logistic regression with adjustment for maternal characteristics and cholesterol was performed.

Results: Lipids decreased from prepregnancy to 4 to 5 weeks, followed by an increase, and were biphasic or triphasic depending on the lipid component. Between 4 and 8 weeks, for every 1-unit increase in HDL-C, there was a 22% decreased odds of loss <14 weeks (odds ratio: 0.78; 95% confidence interval: 0.60, 0.99) and 24% decreased odds of loss or preterm delivery 14 to <37 weeks (odds ratio: 0.76; 95% confidence interval: 0.60, 0.96).

Conclusion: There were no associations with other lipid components or other time points. An impaired rise of HDL-C early in pregnancy may signal maladaptation to pregnancy that is associated with pregnancy loss or preterm delivery.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / blood*
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Logistic Models
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / blood*
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Lipids