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Pregnancy-induced hypertension: Maternal and neonatal plasma lipid-soluble antioxidant levels and its relationship with fatty acid unsaturation

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Author: Oostenbrug, G.S. · Mensink, R.P. · Houwelingen, A.C. van · Al, M.D.M. · Hornstra, G.
Institution: Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO
Source:European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 10, 52, 754-759
Identifier: 234650
Keywords: Fatty acid unsaturation · Pregnancy-induced hypertension · Vitamin A · Vitamin E carotenoids · Antioxidants · Carotenoids · Case-Control Studies · Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid · Fatty Acids · Fatty Acids, Unsaturated · Female · Fetal Blood · Humans · Hypertension · Infant, Newborn · Lipids · Phospholipids · Pregnancy · Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular · Pregnancy Trimester, Third · Solubility · Vitamin A · Vitamin E


Objective: Our purpose was to investigate whether plasma lipid-soluble antioxidant levels during the third trimester of pregnancy and immediately after birth are altered in women with pregnancy-induced hypertension. Design: Nested case-control study of women with pregnancy-induced hypertension. Subjects: A group of 23 women with (mild) pregnancy-induced hypertension and their neonates, were compared with 23 matched controls with uncomplicated pregnancies. Methods: Concentrations of vitamin E isomers, several carotenoids, and retinol were determined by HPLC in venous plasma which had been stored for 2-5 y. Antioxidant levels were adjusted for the degree of fatty acid unsaturation in plasma phospholipids as analysed 2-5 y before. Results: In the third trimester of pregnancy, lipid-soluble antioxidant levels were similar in women with pregnancy-induced hypertension and controls. From the third trimester to postpartum, mean (± s.e.m.) β + γ-locopherol levels decreased by 0.38 ± 0.17 μmol/l or 5% (P = 0.038) in the control group. In the pregnancy-induced hypertension group, however, plasma levels of most antioxidants decreased from the third trimester to postpartum, but only the decreases in plasma levels of β + γ-tocopherol of 1.08 ± 0.27 μmol/l or 26% (P = 0.042), of α-tocopherol of 2.51 ± 1.58 μmol/l or 6% (P = 0.024), and of lutein of 0.13 ± 0.04 μmol/l or 15% (P = 0.013) reached statistical significance as compared with the changes in the control group. At the same time, the polyunsaturated fatty acid unsaturation index of plasma phospholipids (UI) decreased in the pregnancy-induced hypertension group as well. Consequently, antioxidant levels, adjusted for UI, changed similarly in both groups. Umbilical vein plasma antioxidant levels were also similar after complicated and uncomplicated pregnancies. Conclusion: Plasma lipid-soluble antioxidant levels in mother and child are affected by mild pregnancy-induced hypertension, but this effect disappears after adjustment for fatty acid unsaturation.