STUDY OF SERUM LIPIDS AND LIPOPROTEIN PROFILE OF PRE-ECLAMPTICS IN UMUAHIA, SOUTH EAST NIGERIA
BACKGROUND: Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific complication that significantly contributes to maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in developing countries such as Nigeria, where medical interventions may be ineffective due to late presentation of cases. The potential contribution of disorders of lipid metabolism to the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia has been observed in many
OBJECTIVES: This study compared the serum lipid profile of pre-eclamptic women and those of the healthy pregnant women. It also investigated the correlation of lipid levels with the severity of the disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: It was a cross sectional analytical study involving 70 pre-eclamptic and 70 healthy pregnant women at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia. The two groups were controlled for age, parity, and gestational age. Fasting Serum Total cholesterol (TC), Triglyceride (TG), High density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), Low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) and Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL-C) were assayed using standard methods. The data collected was analysed using IBM SPSS 21. Descriptive statistics was done by calculating relevant means and standard deviations, while categorical variables were presented in proportions. Test of significance of association were measured using chi-squared test for categorical variables and t-test for comparison of means.
The mean serum TC (t=7.40; p<0.001), TG (t=5.67; p<0.001), HDL-C(t=3.88; p<0.001), LDL-C(t=6.36; p<0.001), and VLDL-C(t=5.67; p<0.001) were significantly elevated among the pre-eclamptic women when compared to the healthy pregnant women. Patients with severe preeclampsia had higher mean lipid profile level
compared to those with mild preeclampsia, but this was not statistically significant. Serum TC (t=1.83; p>0.07), TG (t=1.22; p>0.22), HDL-C (t=0.01; p>0.99), LDL-C (t=1.51; p>0.14), and VLDL-C (t=1.24; p>0.22).
The serum lipid levels were significantly raised among pre-eclamptic pregnant women when compared to the healthy pregnant women. The lipid parameters, however, seem to be poor markers of the severity of preeclampsia. Further prospective studies are needed to see if the observed deranged lipid profile has a causal role in pre-eclampsia and confers a long-term cardiovascular risk.