Background: Pre-eclampsia contributes significantly to both maternal and perinatal morbidities and mortalities. One of the identified pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia is deranged serum lipid profile of which some components have been found to be elevated early in pregnancy in women destined to develop pre-eclampsia.
Objective: To compare the serum fasting lipid profiles of pre-eclamptic primigravidas with normal primigravidas at week 20, 28 ad 34.
Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife between November 2016 and April 2018. A cohort of 290 primigravidas was recruited at week 20 and followed up until delivery. Serum fasting lipid profiles were quantified at weeks 20, 28 and 34 for all participants. Twenty four women that developed pre-eclampsia were compared with 48 women that had normal pregnancy. Data were analysed with SPSS version 22. We used a linear mixed-effect regression model with random intercept and slope. Significance was established using p<0.05.
Results: Serum lipid profiles showed average weekly increase in both groups. Primigravidas that developed pre-eclampsia had a weekly increase of 0.2(SE0.14) mmol/l in serum total cholesterol more than those with normal pregnancies.(p<0.001) Serum low density lipoprotein also showed a differential weekly increase of 0.1(SE0.05)mmol/l in primigravidas that developed pre-eclampsia over primigravidas with normal pregnancies.(p<0.001).
Conclusion: The average weekly increase in serum total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein were higher significantly in primigravidas that developed pre-eclampsia when compared to the control group. These findings depicted an association between serum lipid profile and pre-eclampsia among the primigravidas.