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:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating ... many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who ... of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from ... at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center ... care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn ... X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson ... Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. ... the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... PUNE, India , June 24, 2016 ... "Pen Needles Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety ... 12mm), Therapy (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase ... published by MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for ... is expected to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: