Neonatal fatty acid status and neurodevelopmental outcome at 9 years

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

Research output: Article

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) are important for prenatal brain development. Previous studies of others assessed outcome until 7. years. The associations between neonatal LCPUFA status and long-term developmental outcome are debated. Aim: To investigate the relationship between fatty acid status at birth and neurodevelopment at 9. years. Age 9 is a unique age after a significant neurodevelopmental transition. Study design: Correlation study. Multivariable analyses were carried out to adjust for potential confounders. Subjects: 317 children who participated in a trial on effects of postnatal LCPUFA supplementation were eligible. 235 children (74%) were reassessed at age 9. Outcome measures: At birth, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) were determined in the wall of the umbilical vein. We primarily studied the correlation between DHA and AA with the complex form of minor neurological dysfunction (cMND). Secondary correlations that were studied were DHA and AA levels with cognitive development in terms of full IQ, and with behavioural development in terms of a total problem score. Results: Boys with cMND showed lower DHA values in the umbilical vein than children with better neurological condition (p. =. 0.033). A similar association was absent in girls. Neonatal AA values were not associated with neurological outcome. Neither neonatal DHA nor AA values were associated with cognition and behaviour at 9. Conclusions: Higher umbilical DHA levels in boys are associated with better neurological development at 9. years. AA status at birth was not associated with neurodevelopment at 9. years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-591
Number of pages5
JournalEarly Human Development
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - okt. 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

de Jong, C., Kikkert, H. K., Seggers, J., Boehm, G., Decsi, T., & Hadders-Algra, M. (2015). Neonatal fatty acid status and neurodevelopmental outcome at 9 years. Early Human Development, 91(10), 587-591.