Effects of pregnancy-induced hypertension on the essential fatty acid statuses of Ecuadorian and Dutch women.

S.J. Otto*, A.C. van Houwelingen, P. Lopez-Jaramillo, G. Hornstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, and the Mineral Metabolism Unit, Medical School, Central University of Ecuador, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVE: Among white Dutch women pregnancy-induced hypertension was shown to be associated with elevated levels of the long-chain polyenes of 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-3 in combination with reduced levels of those parent essential fatty acids. This observation suggested an enhanced desaturation and elongation of the parent fatty acids. This study was performed to investigate whether this phenomenon also occurs under completely different nutritional and geographic conditions. STUDY DESIGN: Plasma fatty acids of primiparous Mestizo Ecuadorian women with uncomplicated pregnancies and with pregnancy-induced hypertension were assessed at delivery and compared with similar data from white Dutch women. Neonatal values, as determined in umbilical plasma and umbilical vessel walls, were also compared. RESULTS: In contrast to the pattern seen among white mothers, pregnancy-induced hypertension did not increase the long-chain polyene status of Mestizo mothers. Despite the absence of this compensatory mechanism, long-chain polyene status was not compromised in Mestizo neonates born after pregnancy-induced hypertension. CONCLUSION: Additional mechanisms may be active in maintaining the long-chain polyene status of neonates born after pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1190
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

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