Background: Pregnancy is associated with increases in fasting triglycerides and total cholesterol.1 ApoE isoforms are known to influence the concentration of cholesterol, with apoE2 homozygosity lowering and apoE4 homozygosity raising the cholesterol concentration compared with E3 homozygosity.2 The lipid profiles ApoE status and prevalence of small dense LDL species were evaluated for subjects attending an antenatal clinic. Results: Samples from 690 women aged between 16 and 42 years of age were analyzed during and after pregnancy. The fasting plasma triglyceride concentration (in mmol/L) was significantly higher in pregnancy (median = 1.5, IQR 1.0-2.0 vs median = 0.6, IQR 0.5-0.8 respectively, p < 0.0001). Similarly, the total cholesterol (in mmol/L) was increased during pregnancy (median=4.1, IQR 3.6-4.7 vs median 3.5, IQR 3.1-3.5, respectively p=0.0167). The median LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol did not change. Higher proportions of small density LDL species were seen during pregnancy compared to after pregnancy. The distribution of the LDL species during pregnancy and 6 weeks post-partum were significantly different p<0.0001 with the smaller species being much higher during pregnancy. Conclusion: ApoE4 genotype was associated with increased total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentrations during pregnancy. Pregnancy results in a reversible remodeling of LDL to smaller species, the significance of which is unknown but may indicate a predisposition to atherosclerosis.
- Apolipoprotein E. Lipids
- Small dense LDL species