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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 May;65(5):580-9. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2010.282. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

Ethnic differences in maternal total cholesterol and triglyceride levels during pregnancy: the contribution of demographics, behavioural factors and clinical characteristics.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:

Lipid disturbances during pregnancy may lead to early onset of metabolic diseases in the offspring. However, there is little knowledge on ethnic differences in lipid levels during pregnancy. We evaluated ethnic differences in non-fasting total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) levels during early gestation and the role of demographics, behavioural factors and clinical characteristics.

SUBJECTS/METHODS:

Non-diabetic pregnant women (N=3025) from the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development (ABCD) study. The studied ethnic groups were Dutch, Surinam-Hindustani, African-Caribbean, Turkish, Moroccan and Ghanaian. A multilingual questionnaire was used to gather information on maternal demographics, behavioural factors and clinical characteristics. Non-fasting TC, TG, percentage saturated fatty acid (%SFA) and percentage linoleic acid status (%LA) were assessed in blood samples collected at the first antenatal visit.

RESULTS:

Ghanaian (-0.51 mmol/l), African-Caribbean (-0.19 mmol/l) and Moroccan (-0.15 mmol/l) women had significant lower TC levels compared with Dutch women. TG levels were lower in Ghanaian (log transformed -0.12 mmol/l) but significantly higher in Surinam-Hindustani (0.10 mmol/l) and Turkish women (0.07 mmol/l). Age, physical activity, pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), smoking, %SFA and %LA were independently related to TC and/or TG. However, only pre-pregnancy BMI could partly explain observed disparities. Furthermore, pre-pregnancy BMI had a relatively large effect on TG levels in Surinam-Hindustani and Turkish women.

CONCLUSIONS:

TC and TG levels differed between ethnic groups during early gestation. Only pre-pregnancy BMI partly explained the ethnic differences to a relevant degree. Reduction in BMI before pregnancy may improve lipid profile, especially in Surinam-Hindustani and Turkish women.

PMID:
21245878
DOI:
10.1038/ejcn.2010.282
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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