Maternal Blood Lipid Profile during Pregnancy and Associations with Child Adiposity: Findings from the ROLO Study.
Background The in-utero environment affects fetal development; it is vital to understand how maternal diet during pregnancy influences childhood body composition. While research indicates that triglycerides in hyperglycaemic women may increase birth weight, little is known about this relationship in euglycemic women. This study examines the relationship between maternal blood lipid status and infant adiposity up to 2 years of age. Methods Data from 331 mother-child pairs from the ROLO longitudinal birth cohort study was analysed. Maternal dietary intakes were recorded and fasting blood lipids, leptin and HOMA were measured in early and late pregnancy and cord blood. Infant anthropometric measurements and skin-fold thicknesses were recorded at birth, 6 months and 2 years. Correlation and regression analyses were used to explore associations between maternal blood lipid status and infant adiposity. Results All maternal blood lipids increased significantly during pregnancy. Maternal dietary fat intake was positively associated with total cholesterol levels in early pregnancy. Late pregnancy triglycerides were positively associated with birth weight (P = 0.03) while cord blood triglycerides were negatively associated with birth weight (P = 0.01). Cord HDL-C was negatively associated with infant weight at 6 months (P = 0.005). No other maternal blood lipids were associated with infant weight or adiposity up to 2 years of age. Conclusion Maternal and fetal triglycerides were associated with birth weight and cord HDL-C with weight at 6 months. Thus, maternal lipid concentrations may exert in-utero influences on infant body composition. There may be potential to modulate infant body composition through alteration of maternal diet during pregnancy.
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