Maternal blood lipid profile during pregnancy impacts on child adiposity: findings from the ROLO study

Type Article

Journal Article


A. A. Geraghty; G. Alberdi; E. C. O'Brien; F. M. McAuliffe

Year of publication



Obesity facts. Conference: european obesity summit (EOS): 1st joint congress of EASO and IFSO-EC. Gothenburg sweden. Conference start: 20160601. Conference end: 20160604. Conference publication: (var.pagings)







Background: The in utero environment is known to affect fetal development however many of the mechanisms by which this occurs remain unknown. With 25% of Irish children overweight or obese, it is vital to understand how maternal diet during pregnancy influences a child's body composition. While research shows Triglycerides (TG) in women with hyperglycaemia can influence birth weight, little is known about the impact of maternal blood lipid profile in euglycemic women. Methods: Analysis was carried out on 290 mother‐child pairs from the ROLO study (Randomised cOntrol trial of LOw glycaemic index diet). Fasting maternal blood lipids and levels of Leptin and HOMA from euglycemic women were measured in early and late pregnancy and cord blood. Infant anthropometry and skin fold thicknesses were recorded at birth, 6 months and 2 years of age. Results: Level of dietary saturated fat was positively associated with total blood cholesterol levels and levels of circulating maternal blood lipids were found to increase during pregnancy. Many associations were found between the maternal blood lipid profile and infant anthropometry using linear correlations and these were then entered into multiple regression models. TG in late pregnancy had a positive association with birth weight (p = 0.03) while TG in cord blood had a negative association (p = 0.01). Similar models were found for birth weight centile. HDL had a positive associated with weight at 6 month (p = 0.005). In the final models no other maternal blood lipids had an impact on weight or adiposity up to two years. Conclusion: In this cohort, maternal TG levels were associated with weight at birth and HDL was associated with weight at 6 months of age. These results suggest that maternal lipid concentrations may exert an in‐utero influence on later infant body composition. With dietary intakes of saturated fat influencing blood lipid profiles there is the potential to modulate infant body composition by altering the mother's diet during pregnancy.