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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jan;98(1):299-307. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-2482. Epub 2012 Nov 16.

Maternal plasma polyunsaturated fatty acid status in late pregnancy is associated with offspring body composition in childhood.

Author information

1
Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, United Kingdom.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Maternal diet during pregnancy has been linked to offspring adiposity, but it is unclear whether maternal polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) status during pregnancy affects offspring body composition.

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated the associations between maternal plasma n-3 and n-6 PUFA status at 34 wk gestation and offspring body composition.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

A prospective United Kingdom population-based mother-offspring cohort, the Southampton Women's Survey (SWS), was studied.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 12,583 nonpregnant women were recruited into the SWS, among whom 1987 delivered a baby before December 31, 2003; 293 mother-child pairs had complete measurements of maternal plasma PUFA concentrations in late pregnancy and offspring body composition at both ages 4 and 6 yr.

MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURED:

We measured offspring body composition by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, yielding fat mass, lean mass, percentage fat mass, and percentage lean mass. Results are presented as β-coefficients for standardized variables, therefore reflecting the sd change of the outcome for every 1 sd of the predictor.

RESULTS:

After adjustment for maternal factors and child factors including height and duration of breast-feeding, maternal plasma n-6 PUFA concentration positively predicted offspring fat mass at 4 yr (β = 0.14 SD/SD; P = 0.01) and 6 yr (β = 0.11 SD/SD; P = 0.04), but there was no association with offspring lean mass at either age (β = 0.005 SD/SD, P = 0.89; and β = 0.008 SD/SD, P = 0.81, respectively). Maternal plasma n-3 PUFA concentration was not associated with offspring fat mass at 4 yr (β = 0.057 SD/SD; P = 0.34) or 6 yr (β = 0.069 SD/SD; P = 0.21). Maternal plasma n-3 PUFA status was positively associated with offspring lean mass on univariate analysis (4 yr, β = 0.11, P = 0.06; 6 yr, β = 0.14; P = 0.02); however, this was confounded by a positive association with offspring height.

CONCLUSIONS:

This observational study suggests that maternal n-6 PUFA status during pregnancy might influence offspring adiposity in childhood.

PMID:
23162098
PMCID:
PMC3604685
DOI:
10.1210/jc.2012-2482
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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