Neonatal fatty acid status and cardiometabolic health at 9 years

Jorien Seggers, Hedwig K. Kikkert, Corina de Jong, T. Decsi, Gunther Boehm, Mijna Hadders-Algra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) status is associated with risk of cardiovascular diseases in adulthood. We previously demonstrated no effect of LCPUFA supplementation after birth on BP and anthropometrics. Little is known about the association between fatty acid status at birth and cardiometabolic health at older ages. Aim To evaluate associations between docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) levels in the umbilical cord and blood pressure (BP) and anthropometrics at 9 years. Study design Observational follow-up study. Multivariable analyses were carried out to adjust for potential confounders. Subjects 229 children who took part in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) on the effects of LCPUFA formula supplementation. Outcome measures BP was chosen as primary outcome; heart rate and anthropometrics as secondary outcomes. Results AA levels in the wall of the umbilical vein and artery were negatively associated with diastolic BP (B: vein − 0.831, 95% CI: − 1.578; − 0.083, p = 0.030; artery: − 0.605, 95% CI: − 1.200; − 0.010, p = 0.046). AA was not associated with systolic BP; DHA not with diastolic nor systolic BP. The AA:DHA ratio in the umbilical vein was negatively associated with diastolic BP (B: − 1.738, 95% CI: − 3.141; − 0.335, p = 0.015). Heart rate and anthropometrics were not associated with neonatal LCPUFA status. Conclusions Higher AA levels and a higher AA:DHA ratio at birth are associated with lower diastolic BP at age 9. This suggests that the effect of LCPUFAs at early age is different from that in adults, where DHA is regarded anti-adipogenic and AA as adipogenic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-59
Number of pages5
JournalEarly Human Development
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016


  • AA
  • Anthropometrics
  • Blood pressure
  • DHA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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