Searching for a common mechanism for placenta-mediated pregnancy complications and cardiovascular disease: Role of lipoprotein a

This study shows an association between lipoprotein(a) concentrations and history of stillbirth and preeclampsia. This well known atherothrombotic marker might represent one of the mechanisms shared by obstetrical and cardiovascular disease.


Ilaria Romagnuolo, M.Sc., Elena Sticchi, M.Sc., Ph.D., Monica Attanasio, M.Sc., Elisa Grifoni, M.D., Gabriele Cioni, M.D., Ph.D., Anna Paola Cellai, M.Sc., Rosanna Abbate, Cinzia Fatini, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 105, Issue 5, Pages 1287-1293



To investigate lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)], a well known cardiovascular risk factor, in women with history of placenta-mediated pregnancy complications (PMPC) compared with healthy uneventful-pregnancy women (HW), and the role of LPA gene functional polymorphisms in modulating both Lp(a) levels and PMPC risk.


Retrospective observational study.


University hospital.


A total of 360 women with history of PMPC (154 preeclampsia [PE], 121 stillbirth [SB], and 85 small for gestational age [SGA]) and 270 HW.


Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Lp(a) levels measurement and LPA +93C >T and +121G>A polymorphisms genotyping.


In PMPCs we observed higher Lp(a) levels than those found in HW and an association with PMPC risk, also after adjustment for age, familial history of cardiovascular disease, and traditional risk factors. By analyzing Lp(a) concentrations according to each pregnancy complication, we observed significantly higher Lp(a) levels in women with history of SB and PE, conferring 2.5-fold and 2-fold increased risks, respectively; no association with SGA was observed. Lp(a) concentrations progressively and significantly increased as LPA unfavorable allelic burden increased; unfavorable allelic burden influenced SB and PE risk.


We evidenced, for the first time, an association between high Lp(a) concentrations and history of SB, and we confirmed the role of Lp(a) in PE risk; this well known atherothrombotic marker might represent one of the possible mechanisms shared by PMPC and cardiovascular disease.

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