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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2013 Sep;170(1):67-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2013.04.015. Epub 2013 Jun 25.

Offspring birth weight and maternal fasting lipids in women screened for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

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UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. Electronic address:



Maternal lipid metabolism is altered during pregnancy but little is known about the influence of these alterations on either intrauterine fetal development or maternal wellbeing. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between both fasting cholesterol and triglycerides and offspring birth weight in women screened selectively for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).


In a prospective observational study in a University Maternity Hospital, women were recruited at their convenience when they were screened for GDM with a diagnostic 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). An additional sample was taken for a lipid profile at the time the fasting glucose was obtained. Clinical and socio-demographic details were recorded.


Of the 189 women recruited, the mean age was 32 years, 35.4% (n=67) were primigravidas, 44.1% (n=82) were obese and 11.6% (n=22) had an abnormal OGTT. On univariate analysis, increasing birth weight was correlated positively with multiparity, first trimester body mass index (BMI), GDM and hypertriglyceridaemia but not with cholesterol levels. On multivariate analysis, increased birth weight correlated positively only with hypertriglyceridaemia.


This study provides further evidence that maternal hypertriglyceridaemia is important in programming intrauterine fetal growth and raises questions about whether women should be screened selectively for dyslipidaemia before, during and after pregnancy.


Birth weight; Gestational diabetes mellitus; Maternal cholesterol; Maternal obesity; Maternal triglycerides

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