Maternal obesity influences the endocrine cord blood profile of their offspring

Carolina Carvalho Mocarzel
  • Federal Fluminense University, Post-Graduation in Medical Sciences, Niteroi, RJ, Brazil
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, Guillermo Coca Velarde, Roberto de Azevedo Antunes
  • Maternity School of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, Renato Augusto Moreira de SáORCID iD: and Asim Kurjak



To compare the endocrine cord blood characteristics of offspring from obese mothers with those of offspring from healthy controls.


Cross-sectional case control study. Setting: University medical centers. Patient(s): Offspring from obese mothers (n = 41) and healthy controls (n = 31). Intervention(s): Cord blood withdrawal from neonates. Main outcome measure(s): Cord blood total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TGs), high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), blood glucose (GL) and insulin (Ins).


Fetal GL and TGs were reduced in the offspring of obese women when compared to those in the offspring of the controls. The mean cord blood GL level was 47.8 mg/dL standard deviation (SD 33.1) in the offspring of the obese group vs. 57.9 mg/dL (SD 12.5) in the offspring of the control group, and the mean cord blood TG level was 26.5 (SD 33.6) in the offspring of the obese group vs. 34.6 (SD 12.3) in the offspring of the control group. Maternal obesity was also associated with reduced levels of TC and HDL-C in the pregnant women.


The observed results suggest that GL and TGs in the cord blood of the offspring of obese mothers were significantly lower than those in the offspring of the control group.

  • 1.

    Denison FC, Aedla NR, Keag O, Hor K, Reynolds RM, Milne A, et al. Care of women with obesity in pregnancy: green-top guideline no. 72. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 2019;126:e62–106.

  • 2.

    Heslehurst N, Lang R, Rankin J, Wilkinson JR, Summerbell CD. Obesity in pregnancy: a study of the impact of maternal obesity on NHS maternity services. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 2007;114:334–42.

  • 3.

    World Health Organization. Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO Consultation (WHO Technical Report Series 894). Geneva: WHO; 2000. p. 252.

  • 4.

    Heymsfield SB, Wadden TA. Mechanisms, pathophysiology, and management of obesity. N Engl J Med 2017;376:254–66.

  • 5.

    Bray MS, Loos RJ, McCaffery JM, Ling C, Franks PW, Weinstock GM, et al. NIH working group report-using genomic information to guide weight management: from universal to precision treatment. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2016;24:14–22.

  • 6.

    Popkin BM, Hawkes C. Sweetening of the global diet, particularly beverages: patterns, trends, and policy responses. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2016;4:174–86.

  • 7.

    Dabelea D, Crume T. Maternal environment and the transgenerational cycle of obesity and diabetes. Diabetes 2011;60:1849–55.

  • 8.

    Robinson HE, O’Connell CM, Joseph KS, McLeod NL.Maternal outcomes in pregnancies complicated by obesity. Obstet Gynecol 2005;106:1357–64.

  • 9.

    Santangeli L, Sattar N, Huda SS. Impact of maternal obesity on perinatal and childhood outcomes. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol 2015;29:438–48.

  • 10.

    Hod M, Lieberman N. Maternal-fetal medicine–how can we practically connect the “M” to the “F”? Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol 2015;29:270–83.

  • 11.

    Metzger BE, Silverman BL, Freinkel N, Dooley SL, Ogata ES, Green OC. Amniotic fluid insulin concentration as a predictor of obesity. Arch Dis Child 1990;65(10 Spec No):1050–2.

  • 12.

    Barker DJ. In utero programming of chronic disease. Clin Sci (Lond) 1998;95:115–28.

  • 13.

    Bertram CE, Hanson MA. Animal models and programming of the metabolic syndrome. Br Med Bull 2001;60:103–21.

  • 14.

    Daan NM, Koster MP, Steegers-Theunissen RP, Eijkemans MJ, Fauser BC. Endocrine and cardiometabolic cord blood characteristics of offspring born to mothers with and without polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril 2017;107:261–8.e3.

  • 15.

    Florio P, Reis FM, Severi FM, Luisi S, Imperatore A, Palumbo MA, et al. Umbilical cord serum activin A levels are increased in pre-eclampsia with impaired blood flow in the uteroplacental and fetal circulation. Placenta 2006;27:432–7.

  • 16.

    Rodie VA, Caslake MJ, Stewart F, Sattar N, Ramsay JE, Greer IA, et al. Fetal cord plasma lipoprotein status in uncomplicated human pregnancies and in pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction. Atherosclerosis 2004;176:181–7.

  • 17.

    American Diabetes Association. Gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care 2003;26 Suppl 1:S103–5.

  • 18.

    American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Task Force on Hypertension in Pregnancy. Hypertension in pregnancy. Report of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Task Force on Hypertension in Pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol 2013;122:1122–31.

  • 19.

    WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study Group. WHO Child Growth Standards based on length/height, weight and age. Acta Paediatr Suppl 2006;450:76–85.

  • 20.

    Villar J, Cheikh Ismail L, Victora CG, Ohuma EO, Bertino E, Altman DG, et al. International standards for newborn weight, length, and head circumference by gestational age and sex: the Newborn Cross-Sectional Study of the INTERGROWTH-21st Project. Lancet 2014;384:857–68.

  • 21.

    Aramesh MR, Dehdashtian M, Malekian A, ShahAli S, Shojaei K. Relation between fetal anthropometric parameters and cord blood adiponectin and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in gestational diabetes mellitus. Arch Endocrinol Metab 2017;61:228–32.

  • 22.

    Kelishadi R, Badiee Z, Adeli K. Cord blood lipid profile and associated factors: baseline data of a birth cohort study. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 2007;21:518–24.

  • 23.

    Patel N, Hellmuth C, Uhl O, Godfrey K, Briley A, Welsh P, et al. Cord metabolic profiles in obese pregnant women: insights into offspring growth and body composition. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2018;103:346–55.

  • 24.

    Brown CM, Garovic VD. Drug treatment of hypertension in pregnancy. Drugs 2014;74:283–96.

  • 25.

    Easterling T, Mundle S, Bracken H, Parvekar S, Mool S, Magee LA, et al. Oral antihypertensive regimens (nifedipine retard, labetalol, and methyldopa) for management of severe hypertension in pregnancy: an open-label, randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2019;394:1011–21.

  • 26.

    Lu Y, Chen R, Cai J, Huang Z, Yuan H. The management of hypertension in women planning for pregnancy. Br Med Bull 2018;128:75–84.

  • 27.

    Lippi G, Albiero A, Montagnana M, Salvagno GL, Scevarolli S, Franchi M, et al. Lipid and lipoprotein profile in physiological pregnancy. Clin Lab 2007;53:173–7.

  • 28.

    Scifres CM, Catov JM, Simhan HN. The impact of maternal obesity and gestational weight gain on early and mid-pregnancy lipid profiles. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2014;22:932–8.

  • 29.

    Kharb S, Bala J, Nanda S. Markers of obesity and growth in preeclamptic and normotensive pregnant women. J Obstet Gynaecol 2017;37:610–5.

  • 30.

    Geraghty AA, Alberdi G, O’Sullivan EJ, O’Brien EC, Crosbie B, Twomey PJ, et al. Maternal blood lipid profile during pregnancy and associations with child adiposity: findings from the ROLO study. PLoS One 2016;11:e0161206.

  • 31.

    Kadakia R, Scholtens DM, Rouleau GW, Talbot O, Ilkayeva OR, George T, et al. Cord blood metabolites associated with newborn adiposity and hyperinsulinemia. J Pediatr 2018;203:144–9.e1.

  • 32.

    Hirschmugl B, Desoye G, Catalano P, Klymiuk I, Scharnagl H, Payr S, et al. Maternal obesity modulates intracellular lipid turnover in the human term placenta. Int J Obes (Lond) 2017;41:317–23.

  • 33.

    Herrera E, Desoye G. Maternal and fetal lipid metabolism under normal and gestational diabetic conditions. Horm Mol Biol Clin Investig 2016;26:109–27.

  • 34.

    Schaefer-Graf UM, Graf K, Kulbacka I, Kjos SL, Dudenhausen J, Vetter K, et al. Maternal lipids as strong determinants of fetal environment and growth in pregnancies with gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care 2008;31:1858–63.

  • 35.

    Fuwa K, Nagano N, Kitamura Y, Iwata F, Okada T, Morioka I. Umbilical cord blood stearoyl-CoA desaturase index and lipoprotein lipase mass level in small-for-gestational age newborns. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2019;6:102028.

  • 36.

    Merzouk H, Meghelli-Bouchenak M, el-Korso N, Belleville J, Prost J. Low birth weight at term impairs cord serum lipoprotein compositions and concentrations. Eur J Pediatr 1998;157:321–6.

  • 37.

    Avci ME, Sanlikan F, Celik M, Avci A, Kocaer M, Gocmen A. Effects of maternal obesity on antenatal, perinatal and neonatal outcomes. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2015;28:2080–3.

  • 38.

    Collins K, Oehmen R, Mehta S. Effect of obesity on neonatal hypoglycaemia in mothers with gestational diabetes: a comparative study. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol 2018;58:291–7.

  • 39.

    Isganaitis E, Rifas-Shiman SL, Oken E, Dreyfuss JM, Gall W,Gillman MW, et al. Associations of cord blood metabolites with early childhood obesity risk. Int J Obes (Lond) 2015;39:1041–8.

Purchase article
Get instant unlimited access to the article.
Price including VAT
Log in
Already have access? Please log in.

Journal + Issues

The Journal of Perinatal Medicine is a truly international forum covering the entire field of perinatal medicine. It is an essential news source for all those obstetricians, neonatologists, perinatologists and allied health professionals who wish to keep abreast of progress in perinatal and related research.