Maternal long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status during early pregnancy and children’s risk of problem behaviour at age 5-6 years

E.M. Loomans, B.R.H. Van den Bergh, M. Schelling, T.G.M. Vrijkotte, M. van Eijsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective
To prospectively investigate the association between maternal long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) status and ratio during pregnancy and children's risk of problem behavior at 5 years of age.
Study design
Maternal LCPUFA status in plasma phospholipids during pregnancy (M = 13.3, SD = 3 weeks) was available for 4336 women. Children's behavior was rated by their mother (n = 2502) and teacher (n = 2061).
Results
When using multivariate logistic regression analyses, we found that greater concentrations of omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (OR 0.75; 95% CI 0.56-0.99; P = .05) decreased children's risk for emotional symptoms. Although lower eicosapentaenoic acid and a greater omega-6:omega-3 LCPUFA (ie, arachidonic acid/[docosahexaenoic acid + eicosapentaenoic acid]) tended to increase the risk for emotional symptoms and the risk of hyperactivity/inattention problems for the omega-6:omega-3 LCPUFA, the results were nonsignificant (P = .07). No evidence was found for mediation by preterm birth and being small for gestational age. The child's sex and infant feeding pattern did not modify the associations.
Conclusion
Our results suggest long-term developmental programming influences of maternal LCPUFA status during pregnancy and stress the importance of an adequate and balanced supply of fatty acids in pregnant women for optimal fetal brain development and subsequent long-term behavioral outcomes.
Keywords: AAArachidonic acid, ABCDAmsterdam Born Children and their Development, DHADocosahexaenoic acid, EPAEicosapentaenoic acid, LCPUFALong-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid, SDQStrengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, SGA, Small for gestational age
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-768
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Volume164
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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