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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2006;85(10):1172-8.

Newborns of pre-eclamptic women: a biochemical difference present in utero.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Western Galilee Hospital, Technion University. P.O. Box 21, Nahariya 21000, Israel. oella@naharia.health.gov.il

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Offspring exposed to pre-eclampsia in utero had higher systolic blood pressure, and were more obese during adolescence. We hypothesized that metabolic changes, a marker of cardiovascular disease, may be affected by intrauterine exposure to pre-eclampsia.

METHODS:

Blood samples were collected from cord blood of 36 newborns who were exposed to pre-eclampsia in utero and their mothers, and of 35 newborns and their mothers with noncomplicated pregnancies. Serum levels of lipids, homocysteine, and fibrinogen were determined in all samples.

RESULTS:

Fetuses exposed to pre-eclampsia in utero had lower birth weight, smaller abdominal circumference (p<0.002; p<0.03 respectively) and higher levels of low-density lipoprotein, homocysteine, and fibrinogen (p<0.01; p<0.001; p<0.001, respectively), compared with fetuses of normotensive, pregnancies. A significant correlation existed between maternal homocysteine concentration and that of newborn infants (r=0.539; p<0.001) and between maternal low-density lipoprotein and newborn homocysteine (r=0.36; p<0.03). Significant negative correlations were found between abdominal circumference of newborns and cord blood concentration of fibrinogen (r= - 0.52; p<0.001) and low-density lipoprotein (r= - 0.42; p<0.001). Maternal plasma homocysteine, low-density lipoprotein, and triglyceride were significantly higher, while high-density lipoprotein was significantly lower in pregnancies with pre-eclampsia as compared with the uncomplicated pregnancy group (p<0.001 for all). Cord blood level of low-density lipoprotein and fibrinogen were best predicted by abdominal circumference of newborn, though maternal level of homocysteine was the most powerful independent predictor of cord homocysteine.

CONCLUSION:

Intrauterine exposure to pre-eclampsia was associated with untoward effects on biochemical risk factor markers for cardiovascular disease. Our findings suggest that the cardiovascular risk of newborns of pre-eclamptic mothers may begin in utero.

PMID:
17068675
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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