Background: Lipid metabolism is vital to fetal development and cardiometabolic health and the final weeks of gestation are known to be a time of intense metabolic activity. New techniques such as lipidomics allow investigation of a complex lipidomic profile in infants. Objectives: This research aimed to (1) describe variations in lipidomic profile in late preterm and term infants and (2) compare variations to an adult lipidomic profile with known clinical implications. Methods: The Barwon Infant Study (n = 1,074) is a population-derived pre-birth cohort study. The lipidomic profile of cord blood was measured by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in 225 participants and the association between gestational age and lipidomic profile was investigated using multiple linear regression adjusting for birth weight, exposure to labour, and infant sex. Patterns of association with gestational age across the lipidomic profile were compared with associations between body mass index (BMI) and lipidomic profile observed among adults in the San Antonia Family Heart Study (n = 994). Results: Gestational age was independently associated with the abundances of 39% of lipid species. Variations in the lipidomic profile with increasing gestational age were comparable to some variations observed in association with increasing BMI among adults. Conclusion: There is a strong relationship between gestational age and the cord blood lipid profile at birth, providing further evidence for the importance of metabolic changes of late gestation. A number of the variations in the lipid profile with increasing gestational age are analogous to differences observed in the adult lipid profile with an increasing BMI.

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