Cord Blood Lipid Profile of Term and Preterm Newborns in a Tertiary Hospital in South East Nigeria: Relationship with Gestational Age and Birth Weight
Keywords:Cord blood lipid profile, Gestational age, Birth weight, Nigeria
Background: Early-onset atherosclerosis is a marker of future cardiovascular diseases. However, indicators of early dyslipidemia for primary prevention are generally lacking in sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed at describing the cord blood lipid profile in Nigeria and its relationship with gestational age and birth weight.
Methods: Cross-sectional study of 167 consecutively recruited newborns in a tertiary hospital whose cord blood lipid profile parameters were assessed using an autoanalyzer (BiOLis 24i). Lipid variables were presented with descriptive statistics whereas their relationship with gestational age and birth weight was highlighted using correlation analysis.
Results: The median values (in mg/dL) of total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL – C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL – C) and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL – C) were 60.0, 30.5, 29.0, 25.8 and 6.1 respectively, all within the normal international ranges. Triglycerides and VLDL-C had a moderate positive correlation with gestational age (rs = 0.4; p < 0.001) and were significantly higher in small-for-gestational-age newborns. Total cholesterol, HDL – C, and LDL-C had a weak negative correlation with gestational age and birth weight (spearman rs ˂ - 0.3). Birth weight, gestational age, and paternal age were the common predictors of lipid profile variability.
Conclusion: The finding of a significant relationship between lipid variables with gestational age and birth weight underscores the need to clinically interpret these given the relationship. The relationship with paternal age is another interesting finding which needs to be replicated and the mechanism(s) elucidated.
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