Objective: Maternal hypercholesterolemia during pregnancy enhances the susceptibility to atherosclerosis in their offspring by oxidation-dependent mechanisms. The present study investigated whether maternal C-reactive protein (CRP) level, which is an indicator of inflammation and cardiovascular risk, or smoking, which enhances oxidative stress, predict the in utero programming of atherosclerosis. Study Design: Subsets of patients from the Fate of Early Lesions in Childhood study (156 normocholesterolemic children) were examined at autopsy, classified by maternal cholesterol levels during pregnancy. Maternal CRP level was correlated with maternal cholesterol and aortic atherosclerosis of children. Results: CRP level was elevated in hypercholesterolemic mothers and showed significant correlation with atherogenesis in children in univariate and multivariate analysis. However, many hypercholesterolemic mothers did not have elevated CRP levels. Smoking only correlated in univariate analysis. Conclusion: CRP level during pregnancy is a predictor of increased atherogenesis in children of hypercholesterolemic mothers, albeit a weaker one than maternal cholesterol. In the presence of hypercholesterolemia, maternal smoking does not further enhance atherogenic programming.
- developmental programming
- maternal hypercholesterolemia
- oxidative stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology