The effect of gestational periods on fasting lipid profile, plasma glucose and chromium levels of apparently healthy pregnant women in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria
Keywords:Pregnancy, Trimester, Gestational period, Dyslipidaemia, Apparently healthy
Background: Pregnancy is a physiological condition in which the uterus of a woman carries at least one embryo for about 38 weeks, from conception to delivery; during this period, several physiological changes in biochemical and haematological functions occur. Knowledge of these changes however, may be helpful in providing effective care for pregnant women; hence this study was aimed at evaluating the effect of gestational periods on lipid profile, plasma glucose and chromium levels of apparently healthy pregnant women in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria.
Methods: A total of 200 apparently healthy women were used for the study; 150 of them were pregnant (50 in the first trimester, 50 in the second trimester, and 50 in the third trimester), and the remaining 50 women were not pregnant. They were divided into four (4) groups; group I (control group) consists of 50 non-pregnant women, group II consists of 50 pregnant women in their first trimester, group III consists of 50 pregnant women in their second trimester, while group IV consists of 50 pregnant women in their third trimester. About 8 ml of fasting venous blood was collected from the antecubital fossa of each subject; 3 ml was dispensed into a fluoride oxalate anticoagulant bottle for the determination of plasma glucose concentration. The remaining 5 ml was dispensed into a lithium heparin-anticoagulant bottle for the determination of chromium and lipid profile. The data were analyzed using the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey multiple comparison test.
Results: The results showed a significant decrease (p<0.05) in glucose levels in the third trimester (group IV) of pregnancy compared to the non-pregnant group (control/group I), and a significant increase in chromium levels in the third trimester (group IV) compared to the non-pregnant group (control/group I), first trimester (group II) and second trimester (group III). Also, plasma triglyceride levels were significantly elevated in the second and third trimesters compared to the non-pregnant group and first trimester. Similarly, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels were significantly elevated in the second trimester compared to the non-pregnant group and first trimester, and in the third trimester compared to the non-pregnant group. Contrarily however, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels significantly decreased in the second and third trimesters compared to the non-pregnant group and first trimester, but no significant difference in total cholesterol when all the groups were compared.
Conclusions: These findings revealed increased levels of chromium, which may be responsible for the decreased glucose levels in the third trimester. Also, this study revealed that pregnancy had no effect on the total cholesterol levels. However, an upsurge in triglyceride and LDL levels was noted in pregnancy, specifically in the second and third trimesters, whereas a down surge in HDL was noted in the second and third trimesters. The results show good glucose control, but with dyslipidaemia which is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases especially arteriosclerosis.
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