Suboptimal maternal dietary intake during pregnancy might lead to fetal cardiovascular adaptations and higher blood pressure in the offspring. The aim of the present study was to investigate the associations of maternal first-trimester dietary intake with blood pressure in children at the age of 6 years. We assessed first-trimester maternal daily dietary intake by a FFQ and measured folate, homocysteine and vitamin B12 concentrations in the blood, in a population-based prospective cohort study among 2863 mothers and children. Childhood systolic and diastolic blood pressure was measured using a validated automatic sphygmomanometer. First-trimester maternal daily intake of energy, fat, protein and carbohydrate was not associated with childhood blood pressure. Furthermore, maternal intake of micronutrients was not associated with childhood blood pressure. Also, higher maternal vitamin B12 concentrations were associated with a higher diastolic blood pressure (0.31 mmHg per standard deviation increase in vitamin B12 (95% CI 0.06, 0.56)). After taking into account multiple testing, none of the associations was statistically significant. Maternal first-trimester folate and homocysteine concentrations were not associated with childhood blood pressure. The results from the present study suggest that maternal Fe intake and vitamin B12 concentrations during the first trimester of pregnancy might affect childhood blood pressure, although the effect estimates were small and were not significant after correction for multiple testing. Further studies are needed to replicate these findings, to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and to assess whether these differences in blood pressure persist in later life.

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British Journal of Nutrition
Generation R Study Group

van den Hil, L., Taal, R., de Jonge, L., Heppe, D., Steegers, E., Hofman, A., … Jaddoe, V. (2013). Maternal first-trimester dietary intake and childhood blood pressure: The Generation R Study. British Journal of Nutrition, 110(8), 1454–1464. doi:10.1017/S0007114513000676