Novel associations between parental and newborn cord blood metabolic profiles in the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study

Linn K.L. Øyri, Martin P. Bogsrud, Jacob J. Christensen, Stine M. Ulven, Anne Lise Brantsæter, Kjetil Retterstøl, Hilde K. Brekke, Trond M. Michelsen, Tore Henriksen, Jeanine E. Roeters van Lennep, Per Magnus, Marit B. Veierød, Kirsten B. Holven*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: More than one third of Norwegian women and men between 20 and 40 years of age have elevated cholesterol concentration. Parental metabolic health around conception or during pregnancy may affect the offspring’s cardiovascular disease risk. Lipids are important for fetal development, but the determinants of cord blood lipids have scarcely been studied. We therefore aimed to describe the associations between maternal and paternal peri-pregnancy lipid and metabolic profile and newborn cord blood lipid and metabolic profile. Methods: This study is based on 710 mother–father–newborn trios from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) and uses data from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway (MBRN). The sample included in this study consisted of parents with and without self-reported hypercholesterolemia the last 6 months before pregnancy and their partners and newborns. Sixty-four cord blood metabolites detected by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy were analyzed by linear mixed model analyses. The false discovery rate procedure was used to correct for multiple testing. Results: Among mothers with hypercholesterolemia, maternal and newborn plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein A1, linoleic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, alanine, glutamine, isoleucine, leucine, valine, creatinine, and particle concentration of medium high-density lipoprotein were significantly positively associated (0.001 ≤ q ≤ 0.09). Among mothers without hypercholesterolemia, maternal and newborn linoleic acid, valine, tyrosine, citrate, creatinine, high-density lipoprotein size, and particle concentration of small high-density lipoprotein were significantly positively associated (0.02 ≤ q ≤ 0.08). Among fathers with hypercholesterolemia, paternal and newborn ratio of apolipoprotein B to apolipoprotein A1 were significantly positively associated (q = 0.04). Among fathers without hypercholesterolemia, no significant associations were found between paternal and newborn metabolites. Sex differences were found for many cord blood lipids. Conclusions: Maternal and paternal metabolites and newborn sex were associated with several cord blood metabolites. This may potentially affect the offspring’s long-term cardiovascular disease risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number91
JournalBMC Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the University of Oslo, Norway; the National Advisory Unit on Familial Hypercholesterolemia, Oslo University Hospital, Norway; the Throne Holst Foundation for Nutrition Research; the Norwegian Health Association; Eckbos Legate; the Freia Corporation Medical Fund; and the Blix Foundation for the Promotion of Medical Research, Norway. None of the external funding sources had any role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; nor in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Funding Information:
The Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services and the Ministry of Education and Research. We are grateful to all the participating families in Norway who take part in this on-going cohort study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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