Hyperlipidemia is a known cause of atherosclerosis and directly contributes to the current epidemic in cardio-vascular disease. Pregnancy is typified by an increase in serum levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides pushed by the rise in estrogen, progesterone and lactogen. Mobilization of stored fat depots in late pregnancy may provide a reservoir of fatty acids for fetal growth and placental tissue steroid synthesis. This physiologic increase in lipids performs an essential role during pregnancy; however, elevated levels of lipids in predisposed women or with familiar forms of hyperlipidemia can carry increased risk for maternal-fetal complications. The present treatment of pregnant women with hyperlipidemia is the suspension of medications. However, hyperlipidemia during pregnancy is associated with preeclampsia, preterm birth and gestational diabetes and offspring of these mothers show a propensity to enhanced fatty streak formation and an increased risk of progressive atherosclerosis. This current evidence may motivate the further study on the potential benefits of treatment of hyperlipidemia in pregnancy and its effects on maternal-fetal outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology