Pre-pregancy lipid levels could explain why number of children is linked to cardiovascular risk

Aleksandra Pirnat has looked at how women’s lipid profile associates with how many children they give birth to.


  1. Unhealthy lipid levels before pregnancy associates with having fewer children.

  2. Unhealthy lipid levels after giving birth associates with having no more children.


Thesis: Number of children: pre- and post-pregnancy lipids, effect of pregnancy outcome and modification by perinatal loss
Candidate: Aleksandra Pernat
Time: January 7, 2020 at 11:15
Place: Haukeland University Hospital, Armauer Hansens Hus: Auditorium
Link to university website (in Norwegian)


(1/3) Women with unhealthy lipid levels (higher triglyceride, higher triglyceride-to-HDL-ratio, low HDL cholesterol, and/or high LDL cholesterol) several years before pregnancy are at increased risk of giving birth to none or only one child. Also after giving birth, women with one child have higher LDL and total cholesterol compared to women with several children. Parnat’s results could indicate that an adverse lipid profile plays a role in subfertility, and thus partly explains the association between a low number of children and increased cardiovascular risk.

The studies are based on data from the nationwide CONOR cohort and the Medical Birth Registry of Norway. The analyses include pre-pregancny lipid levels from 2645 women giving birth to their first child between 1994 and 2003 and 1677 nulliparous women. They also include data from 32 618 parous women examined after first childbirth, of which 4490 had only one child.

(2) The third study of the thesis investigated if complications during pregnancy and perinatal loss influence the risk of having only one child.


(1) Pirnat, A., DeRoo, L. A., Skjærven, R., & Morken, N. H. (2018). Women’s prepregnancy lipid levels and number of children: a Norwegian prospective population-based cohort studyBMJ open8(6), e021188.

(2) Pirnat, A., DeRoo, L. A., Skjærven, R., & Morken, N. H. (2019). Risk of having one lifetime pregnancy and modification by outcome of pregnancy and perinatal loss. Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica98(6), 753-760.

(3) Pirnat, A., DeRoo, L. A., Skjaerven, R., & Morken, N. H. (2019). Lipid levels after childbirth and association with number of children: A population-based cohort studyPloS one14(10).

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