Background: Suboptimal maternal diet during pregnancy might lead to fetal cardiovascular adaptations with persistent consequences in the offspring. Objective: We assessed the associations of maternal polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) concentrations during pregnancy with childhood blood pressure. Methods: In a population-based prospective cohort study among 4455 mothers and their children, we measured maternal second-trimester n-3 (v-3) and n-6 (v-6) PUFA concentrations in plasma glycerophospholipids and expressed n-3 and n-6 PUFAs as proportions of total PUFAs (wt%). Childhood blood pressure wasmeasured at themedian age of 6.0 y (95% range: 5.7-7.9 y). We used linear regression models to assess the associations of maternal PUFA wt% with childhood blood pressure at 6 y. Results: Higher total maternal n-3 PUFA wt% and, specifically, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) wt% were associated with lower childhood systolic blood pressure [differences:20.28 (95%CI:20.54,20.03) and20.29mmHg(95% CI:20.54,20.03) perSD increase of total n-3 PUFAs and DHA wt%, respectively], but not with childhood diastolic blood pressure. Total maternal n-6 PUFA wt%was positively associated with childhood systolic blood pressure [differences: 0.36mmHg (95% CI: 0.09, 0.62) per SD increase of total n-6 PUFA wt%], but not with childhood diastolic blood pressure. A higher n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio was associated with higher childhood systolic blood pressure (P < 0.05). Pregnancy and childhood characteristics only partly explained the observed associations. Conclusions: Higher maternal plasma n-3 PUFA and lower n-6 PUFA concentrations during pregnancy are associated with a lower systolic blood pressure in childhood. Further studies are needed to replicate these findings, explore the underlying mechanisms, and examine the long-term cardiovascular consequences. J Nutr 2015;145:2362-8.

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Keywords Blood pressure, Childhood, Cohort, Pregnancy, PUFAs
Persistent URL,
Journal The Journal of Nutrition
Grant This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/289346 - Long-term effects of early nutrition on later health (EarlyNutrition), This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/212652 - “Effect of diet on the mental performance of children” (NUTRIMENTHE)
Vidakovic, A.J, Gishti, O, Steenweg-de Graaff, J.C.J, Williams, M.A, Duijts, L, Felix, J.F, … Gaillard, R. (2015). Higher Maternal Plasma n-3 PUFA and Lower n-6 PUFA Concentrations in Pregnancy Are Associated with Lower Childhood Systolic Blood Pressure1-3. The Journal of Nutrition, 145(10), 2362–2368. doi:10.3945/jn.115.210823