OBJECTIVE: Preliminary epidemiological data suggest that dyslipidaemia contributes significantly to rising mortality due to atherosclerosis in Peninsular Malays. The aim of this study was to determine whether abnormal serum lipid profiles are present at birth in this population.
METHODOLOGY: The patients were 487 non-diabetic Malay women who had an uncomplicated antenatal course and delivered healthy singleton babies at term. Cord blood and maternal post-partum venous blood samples were taken for assay of serum cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations using standard enzymatic methods.
RESULTS: Maternal total serum cholesterol concentrations (mean +/- SD; 7.5 +/- 2.5 mmol/L) were higher than in other reported series (range of published means 5.2-6.5 mmol/L) with a correspondingly low high-density lipoprotein (HDL): total cholesterol ratio. The mean cord blood total serum cholesterol (1.7 +/- 1.0 mmol/L) was consistent with previously reported population means (1.5-1.9 mmol/L) but there was a relatively high low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and depressed HDL: cholesterol ratio. Significant correlations between maternal and neonatal serum total (P = 0.038) and especially HDL-cholesterol (P < 0.001) were observed. Maternal and cord blood serum triglyceride levels were comparable to those in other series.
CONCLUSIONS: These cross-sectional data provide evidence that abnormal serum cholesterol profiles are found in pregnant Malay women and their neonates which may have implications for the prevalence of macrovascular disease in the Malay population.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.