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Open Access Research article

Elevated maternal lipids in early pregnancy are not associated with risk of intrapartum caesarean in overweight and obese nulliparous women

Elaine M Fyfe14*, Karen S Rivers2, John MD Thompson3, Kamala PL Thiyagarajan2, Katie M Groom1, Gustaaf A Dekker2, Lesley ME McCowan1 and On behalf of the SCOPE consortium

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand

2 Women and Children’s Division, Lyell McEwin Hospital, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

3 Department of Paediatrics, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand

4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medical and Health Science, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2013, 13:143  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-143

Published: 9 July 2013

Abstract

Background

Maternal overweight and obesity are associated with slower labour progress and increased caesarean delivery for failure to progress. Obesity is also associated with hyperlipidaemia and cholesterol inhibits myometrial contractility in vitro. Our aim was, among overweight and obese nulliparous women, to investigate 1. the role of early pregnancy serum cholesterol and 2. clinical risk factors associated with first stage caesarean for failure to progress at term.

Methods

Secondary data analysis from a prospective cohort of overweight/obese New Zealand and Australian nullipara recruited to the SCOPE study. Women who laboured at term and delivered vaginally (n=840) or required first stage caesarean for failure to progress (n=196) were included. Maternal characteristics and serum cholesterol at 14–16 weeks’ of gestation were compared according to delivery mode in univariable and multivariable analyses (adjusted for BMI, maternal age and height, obstetric care type, induction of labour and gestation at delivery ≥41 weeks).

Results

Total cholesterol at 14–16 weeks was not higher among women requiring first stage caesarean for failure to progress compared to those with vaginal delivery (5.55 ± 0.92 versus 5.67 ± 0.85 mmol/L, p= 0.10 respectively). Antenatal risk factors for first stage caesarean for failure to progress in overweight and obese women were BMI (adjusted odds ratio [aOR (95% CI)] 1.15 (1.07-1.22) per 5 unit increase, maternal age 1.37 (1.17-1.61) per 5 year increase, height 1.09 (1.06-1.12) per 1cm reduction), induction of labour 1.94 (1.38-2.73) and prolonged pregnancy ≥41 weeks 1.64 (1.14-2.35).

Conclusions

Elevated maternal cholesterol in early pregnancy is not a risk factor for first stage caesarean for failure to progress in overweight/obese women. Other clinically relevant risk factors identified are: increasing maternal BMI, increasing maternal age, induction of labour and prolonged pregnancy ≥41 weeks’ of gestation.

Keywords:
Cholesterol; Antenatal; Delivery; Obesity; Labour