Navigation Links
Mom's Low Cholesterol Tied to Preemie Births
Date:10/1/2007

Nutritional deficiencies and genetics may be to blame, researchers suggest,,

MONDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- While lower cholesterol is generally considered a good thing, new research suggests that very low cholesterol levels in pregnant women may harm the health of the fetus.

Expectant mothers whose total cholesterol levels were under 159 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) gave birth -- on average -- to babies weighing about one-third of a pound less than babies born to mothers whose cholesterol levels exceeded 159 mg/dL, the researchers found.

Additionally, 12.7 percent of white women with low cholesterol levels gave birth prematurely, compared to just five percent of those with higher cholesterol levels. No such association was found in black women, however.

"To our surprise, we found that white women with very low cholesterol also have a significant risk of having babies born prematurely," said Dr. Max Muenke, chief of medical genetics at the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Md.

Results of the study are in the October issue of Pediatrics.

"At this point, it's not even clear if it's the low cholesterol itself, or another lipid," he said, adding that more research is needed to confirm these findings.

"This study intuitively makes some sense," said Dr. Robert Welch, chair and program director for obstetrics and gynecology at St. John Health's Providence Hospital in Southfield, Mich. "Cholesterol is a building block for membranes, hormones and proteins, so it makes sense that if you have low cholesterol, your baby won't have the substrate it needs to grow."

Each year, more than half a million babies are born prematurely in the United States, according to the March of Dimes. Medical advances have brought down the incidence rates for many diseases and conditions, but that's not been the case with premature or low birth weight babies.

In 1994, 11 percent of babies were born prematurely, and 7.3 percent were considered low birth weight. In 2004, those numbers were 12.5 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively. A preterm birth is one that occurs before 37 weeks, and a baby under five and a half pounds is considered to have a low birth weight.

According to Muenke, because previous studies have shown that high cholesterol levels -- over 300 mg/dL -- may lead to premature birth, the researchers wanted to know if very low levels could also have an effect.

The researchers recruited more than 1,000 women from prenatal clinics in South Carolina. The women were between 21 and 34 years old, didn't smoke, didn't have diabetes and were only pregnant with one baby. Cholesterol levels were measured at about the 17th or 18th week of pregnancy.

Overall, 118 of the women had low cholesterol levels mid-pregnancy and 940 women had levels higher than 159 mg/dL.

The study found that white women had five times higher odds of delivering prematurely if they had low cholesterol. There was no association between cholesterol levels and preterm delivery in black women, according to the study.

However, for both races, babies weighed an average of 150 grams less (about one-third of a pound) when born to mothers with low cholesterol. Additionally, babies born to mothers with low cholesterol levels were about twice as likely to have a small head circumference.

Muenke said the low cholesterol levels are likely caused by a combination of genetics and nutrition. According to the study authors, the low cholesterol levels may stem from poor diet and nutritional deficiencies. What isn't yet known is if raising cholesterol levels in these women would have a positive effect on the baby's health.

"I wouldn't recommend routine screening for cholesterol in pregnant women right now," cautioned Welch. "It would increase health care expenditures tremendously without a known benefit. This was a first study; others need to done. We also need to find some explanation of why it's taking place only in white women and not in black women."

"What this study does suggest is that diet in pregnancy is important, and that not paying attention to nutrition could be harmful," said Welch.

Muenke agreed, adding that, "At this point, the message is really to 'stay tuned' for a repeat study. In the meantime, talk with your obstetrician about a healthy lifestyle, including exercise and healthy nutrition."

More information

To learn more about proper prenatal nutrition, visit the National Women's Health Information Center.



SOURCES: Max Muenke, M.D., chief, medical genetic branch, U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.; Robert Welch, M.D., chairman and program director, obstetrics and gynecology, St. John Health's Providence Hospital, Southfield, Mich.; October 2007, Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Changes in cabin pressure pose risks for moms-to-be
2. Phone Calls Lend Vital Support to Moms of Mentally Ill Children
3. Basic Instinct drives wannabe moms
4. Still Births: Three Times Higher Risk for Older Moms–to–e
5. Ire of Irish Moms pained over maternity services in Ireland.
6. Moms to be, beware of meth - It can hamper growth and development in your babies
7. Underweight Moms: Weighed Down by the Risk of Miscarriages
8. Mental Disorders Strike First Time Moms More
9. Special Delivery Unit for Pregnant Moms With Birth Defects in Fetus
10. New Moms Must Not Skip Meals
11. Breastfeeding and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help New Moms Fight Depression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board ... become its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon ... beginning July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX ... CBD Oil utilizing Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will ... and providing a CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office of ... elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office remain ... to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance ... care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive ... the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional ... action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. ... a social audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance ... a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for endoscopy environments. An ... technology into a clinical solution to support the improvement of patient ... Innovative Design ... Wireless Solution ...
(Date:10/4/2017)...  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company I.M. Lab ... Kickstarter. The device will educate the user about ,proper, ... efficiency compared to the dated and pricey CPR training ... of the compression for a more informed CPR training. ... raise $5,000. cprCUBE ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , Oct. 2, 2017  Eli Lilly ... its financial results for the third quarter of 2017 ... a conference call on that day with the investment ... performance. The conference call will begin at ... public can access a live webcast of the conference ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: