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Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2017 Nov;126:72-78. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2017.09.004. Epub 2017 Sep 9.

Polyunsaturated fatty acid levels at birth and child-to-adult growth: Results from the MEFAB cohort.

Author information

1
School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands; Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece. Electronic address: n.stratakis@maastrichtuniversity.nl.
2
School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands.
3
Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.
4
Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands.
5
Welten Institute - Research Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, Netherlands.
6
Department of Health Promotion, Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands.
7
Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands.
8
School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands; Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece; Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.
9
School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands; Welten Institute - Research Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, Netherlands.
10
School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands; Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Prenatal exposure to polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may influence childhood growth. However, available evidence mostly derived from short-term studies is inconsistent.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess whether fetal PUFA exposure is associated with height and body mass index (BMI), a common measure of adiposity, from 6 months to 23 years of age.

METHODS:

In the MEFAB cohort, we assessed cord blood phospholipid n-3 and n-6 PUFA levels, reflecting fetal exposure in late pregnancy. For 250 (45.2% females) participants, we collected a total of 1770 (n= 802 for females) repeated growth measurements from infancy to young adulthood. We examined sex-specific associations of PUFAs with height and BMI at different developmental ages (infant: 6 months; toddler: 2 years; pre-schooler: 4 years; school-aged child: 7 years; adolescent: 12 years; and young adult: 23 years) using fractional polynomial mixed models adjusted for important covariates.

RESULTS:

Higher n-3 PUFA levels were associated with higher infant length in males (β= 0.44cm [95% CI: 0.07, 0.82] per SD increase), whereas, for females, higher n-6 PUFA concentrations were associated with lower length in infancy (β= -0.69cm [95% CI: -1.08, -0.30] per SD increase). A higher ratio of n-3 to n-6 PUFAs was associated with higher infant length in both sexes (β= 0.40cm [95% CI: 0.01, 0.78] and 0.42cm [95% CI: 0.05, 0.79] per unit increase for males and females, respectively). These associations were not detectable later in childhood and young adulthood. No associations with BMI were found at any time point examined.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings suggest a small sex-specific influence of PUFA status at birth on length in infancy, but this does not persist in later life up to young adulthood. PUFA status at birth does not seem to affect BMI from infancy till young adulthood.

KEYWORDS:

Adulthood; BMI; Childhood; Cord blood; Height; PUFAs

PMID:
29031398
DOI:
10.1016/j.plefa.2017.09.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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