Lipoprotein subclass profiles in young adults born preterm at very low birth weight
Springer Science and Business Media LLC -- Lipids in Health and Disease
DOI 10.1186/1476-511X-12-57
  1. Very low birth weight
  2. Prematurity
  3. Lipoprotein
  4. Lipids
  5. Subclass


Adults born preterm at very low birth weight (VLBW ≤ 1500g) have increased risk factors for cardiovascular diseases including high blood pressure and impaired glucose regulation. Non-optimal lipoprotein profile is generally also likely to affect the increased cardiovascular risk, but lipoprotein subclass level data on adults born at VLBW are sparse.

Subjects and methods

We studied 162 subjects born at VLBW and 169 term-born controls, aged 19 to 27 years. Total lipid, triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations of 14 lipoprotein subclasses were determined by proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the fasting state and in 2-hour serum samples from an oral glucose tolerance test.


In comparison to controls, VLBW subjects had significantly higher fasting concentration of triglycerides in chylomicrons and largest very-low-density lipoprotein particles [XXL-VLDL-TG, difference 0.026 (95% CI: 0.004 to 0.049), P = 0.024], and of triglycerides in small high-density lipoprotein particles [S-HDL-TG, 0.026 (95% CI: 0.002 to 0.051), P = 0.037]. The seemingly important role of triglycerides was further supported by principal component analysis in which the first component was characterized by multiple lipoprotein triglyceride measures.


Young adults born at VLBW and their peers born at term had triglyceride-related differences in both VLDL and HDL subclasses. These differences suggest that the increased risk factors for cardiovascular diseases among the VLBW individuals in adulthood may partly relate to impaired triglyceride metabolism.