Polyunsaturated fatty acid status at birth, childhood growth, and cardiometabolic risk: a pooled analysis of the MEFAB and RHEA cohorts

Nikos Stratakis*, Marij Gielen, Katerina Margetaki, Renate H. M. de Groot, Maria Apostolaki, Georgia Chalkiadaki, Marina Vafeiadi, Vasiliki Leventakou, Marianna Karachaliou, Roger W. Godschalk, Manolis Kogevinas, Euripides G. Stephanou, Maurice P. Zeegers, Leda Chatzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)
22 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background/objectives Polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) status during pregnancy has been suggested to influence offspring obesity and cardiometabolic health. We assessed whether prenatal PUFA exposure is associated with rapid infant growth, childhood BMI, and cardiometabolic profile.

Subjects/methods In the Dutch MEFAB (n = 266) and Greek RHEA (n = 263) cohorts, we measured n-3 and n-6 PUFA concentrations in cord blood phospholipids, which reflect fetal exposure in late pregnancy. We defined rapid infant growth from birth to 6 months of age as an increase in weight z-score >0.67. We analyzed body mass index (BMI) as continuous and in categories of overweight/obesity at 4 and 6 years. We computed a cardiometabolic risk score at 6-7 years as the sum of waist circumference, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and blood pressure z-scores. Associations of PUFAs with child health outcomes were assessed using generalized linear models for binary outcomes and linear regression models for continuous ones after adjusting for important covariates, and for the pooled estimates, a cohort indicator.

Results In pooled analyses, we found no association of PUFA levels with rapid infant growth, childhood BMI (beta per SD increase in the total n-3:n-6 PUFA ratio = -0.04 SD; 99% CI: -0.15, 0.06; P = 0.65 at 4 years, and -0.05 SD; 99% CI: -0.18, 0.08; P = 0.78 at 6 years), and overweight/obesity. We also found no associations for clustered cardiometabolic risk and its individual components. The results were similar across cohorts.

Conclusions Our findings suggest that PUFA concentrations at birth are not associated with later obesity development and cardiometabolic risk in childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-576
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume73
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • OFFSPRING BODY-COMPOSITION
  • MATERNAL PLASMA N-3
  • METABOLIC SYNDROME
  • FOLLOW-UP
  • ADIPOSE-TISSUE
  • DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID
  • DHA SUPPLEMENTATION
  • PUFA CONCENTRATIONS
  • MASS INDEX
  • PREGNANCY

Cite this