Neurologic condition of healthy term infants at 18 months: Positive association with venous umbilical DHA status and negative association with umbilical trans-fatty acids

Hylco Bouwstra, Janneke Dijck-Brouwer, Tamás Decsi, Günther Boehm, E. Rudy Boersma, Frits A.J. Muskiet, Mijna Hadders-Algra

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Prenatal long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) and trans-fatty acids may affect neurodevelopment. In healthy term children, we determined relationships between relative fatty acid contents of umbilical arteries and veins and neurodevelopment at 18 mo. The study comprised a mixed group of 317 breast-fed, formula-fed, and LCPUFA formula-fed children. Study endpoints were the Hempel neurologic examination resulting in a neurologic classification and neurologic optimality score (NOS), and the Bayley Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI) and Mental Developmental Index (MDI). Fifteen children showed minor neurologic dysfunction (MND). The umbilical vein trans, trans-18:2n-6 content was higher in children with MND than in the normal group. The NOS was significantly reduced in infants with an umbilical vein docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content within the lowest quartile. Umbilical vein arachidonic acid (AA) was related to NOS in univariate statistics but not in multivariate analyses. The sum of trans-fatty acids and that of C18 trans-fatty acids showed a negative association with NOS in both univariate and multivariate analyses. No associations were found between AA, DHA and total trans-fatty acids with PDI or MDI. In conclusion, neonates with a relatively low DHA status and those with high trans-fatty acid levels have a less favorable neurologic condition at 18 mo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-339
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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