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Serum lipids and lipoproteins in pregnancies associated with emesis gravidarum.

Nausea and/or vomiting in pregnancy (emesis gravidarum) is a very common event. The specific etiology of this disorder is still unknown. In this study we examined serum lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in 98 healthy pregnant women in early and late pregnancy. Sixty of these women complained of emesis gravidarum. Compared to non-pregnant controls the pregnancy values of serum cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids were elevated in all subjects due to an increase in all lipoprotein classes. In addition, low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) were enriched in triglycerides relative to other components. Differences in serum lipids and lipoproteins between the emetic and non-emetic subjects were found. The lipid contents of LDL and HDL were significantly higher and lower, respectively, in the emetic women in early pregnancy. During late pregnancy the total lipid content in all fractions was higher in previously emetic subjects. Thus, a metabolic difference between the groups persisted throughout pregnancy. It is suggested that an altered influence of estrogen on the liver might be responsible for these dissimilarities.

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