Women with unfavourable prepregnant lipid profiles may have a higher risk of having no or only one child, suggests a new study published in BMJ Open .
Researchers examined linked data from the Cohort of Norway and the Medical Birth Registry of Norway on 2645 women giving birth to their first child during 1994–2003 including 488 one-child mothers and 2157 women with two or more births, as well as 1677 nulliparous women.
They found that women with high levels of LDL cholesterol, triglycerides (TG) and TG to HDL cholesterol ratios and those with low HDL levels were at increased risk of having only one lifetime pregnancy. High levels of LDL and total cholesterol were associated with a greater risk of having no children, while in overweight and obese women this was true for all lipids examined, the authors said.
The authors said the findings provide a possible biological underpinning for a joint mechanistic pathway for reduced fertility and cardiovascular disease. “Our study suggests that the previously observed association between low parity and increased CVD risk may be confounded by pre-existing adverse lipid levels,” they concluded.