The association of maternal polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy with social competence and problem behaviours at 7 years of age

The MEFAB cohort

E.C. Tore*, M. Gielen, E.E. Antoniou , R.H.M. de Groot, R.W.L. Godschalk, T.R. Southwood, L. Smits , N. Stratakis, I.S.M. van der Wurff, M.P. Zeegers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background
The prenatal exposure to maternal n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) might influence the development of social competence and internalizing and externalizing behaviours of the child, because of the numerous functions of PUFAs within the nervous system.

Methods
To analyse the association of selected maternal PUFAs (i.e., AA, EPA, DHA, total n-6, total n-3, and the n-6:n-3 ratio) measured during gestation with childhood social competence and problem behaviours, we examined 311 mother-child pairs from the Maastricht Essential Fatty Acid Birth (MEFAB) cohort. For each woman, PUFA-specific changes in relative concentrations were calculated by identifying the best-fitting curve of PUFA concentration by linear splines of gestational age. The associations of changes in maternal PUFAs in early and late pregnancy with childhood social competence, total problems, internalizing and externalizing behaviours, measured with the Child Behaviour Checklist 4/18 at age 7, were investigated with linear regression analyses adjusted for maternal and children's socio-demographic characteristics.

Results
In late gestation (i.e., from gestational week 30), an increase in AA was associated with higher social competence, while a decrease in total n-6 was associated with lower externalizing behaviours. No other significant associations were found.

Discussion
In this prospective study, increasing maternal AA and decreasing total n-6 were associated with improved social competence and externalizing behaviours, respectively, in 7-year old children. Nonetheless, the clinical significance of the identified associations is modest and further investigations are warranted to clarify the relationship between maternal AA and total n-6 during pregnancy and childhood social and behavioural development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalProstaglandins, Leukotrienes, & Essential Fatty Acids
Volume144
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Fingerprint

Essential Fatty Acids
Social Problems
Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Mothers
Parturition
Pregnancy
Child Behavior
Maternal Exposure
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Checklist
Nervous System
Gestational Age
Problem Behavior
Social Skills
Linear Models
Regression Analysis
Demography
Prospective Studies

Keywords

  • Prenatal programming
  • Developmental origins of health and disease
  • Biomarkers
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Problem behaviours
  • Social competence
  • DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID
  • PHOSPHOLIPIDS
  • PLASMA
  • HEALTH
  • SUPPLEMENTATION
  • CONSUMPTION

Cite this

@article{cbf85bc6dda64136abe4e364af2e43ed,
title = "The association of maternal polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy with social competence and problem behaviours at 7 years of age: The MEFAB cohort",
abstract = "BackgroundThe prenatal exposure to maternal n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) might influence the development of social competence and internalizing and externalizing behaviours of the child, because of the numerous functions of PUFAs within the nervous system.MethodsTo analyse the association of selected maternal PUFAs (i.e., AA, EPA, DHA, total n-6, total n-3, and the n-6:n-3 ratio) measured during gestation with childhood social competence and problem behaviours, we examined 311 mother-child pairs from the Maastricht Essential Fatty Acid Birth (MEFAB) cohort. For each woman, PUFA-specific changes in relative concentrations were calculated by identifying the best-fitting curve of PUFA concentration by linear splines of gestational age. The associations of changes in maternal PUFAs in early and late pregnancy with childhood social competence, total problems, internalizing and externalizing behaviours, measured with the Child Behaviour Checklist 4/18 at age 7, were investigated with linear regression analyses adjusted for maternal and children's socio-demographic characteristics.ResultsIn late gestation (i.e., from gestational week 30), an increase in AA was associated with higher social competence, while a decrease in total n-6 was associated with lower externalizing behaviours. No other significant associations were found.DiscussionIn this prospective study, increasing maternal AA and decreasing total n-6 were associated with improved social competence and externalizing behaviours, respectively, in 7-year old children. Nonetheless, the clinical significance of the identified associations is modest and further investigations are warranted to clarify the relationship between maternal AA and total n-6 during pregnancy and childhood social and behavioural development.",
keywords = "Prenatal programming, Developmental origins of health and disease, Biomarkers, Polyunsaturated fatty acids, Problem behaviours, Social competence, DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID, PHOSPHOLIPIDS, PLASMA, HEALTH, SUPPLEMENTATION, CONSUMPTION",
author = "E.C. Tore and M. Gielen and E.E. Antoniou and {de Groot}, R.H.M. and R.W.L. Godschalk and T.R. Southwood and L. Smits and N. Stratakis and {van der Wurff}, I.S.M. and M.P. Zeegers",
year = "2019",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1016/j.plefa.2019.04.002",
language = "English",
volume = "144",
pages = "1--9",
journal = "Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, & Essential Fatty Acids",
publisher = "Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, & Essential Fatty Acids",

}

The association of maternal polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy with social competence and problem behaviours at 7 years of age : The MEFAB cohort. / Tore, E.C.; Gielen, M.; Antoniou , E.E.; de Groot, R.H.M.; Godschalk, R.W.L.; Southwood, T.R.; Smits , L.; Stratakis, N.; van der Wurff, I.S.M.; Zeegers, M.P.

In: Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, & Essential Fatty Acids, Vol. 144, 05.2019, p. 1-9.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The association of maternal polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy with social competence and problem behaviours at 7 years of age

T2 - The MEFAB cohort

AU - Tore, E.C.

AU - Gielen, M.

AU - Antoniou , E.E.

AU - de Groot, R.H.M.

AU - Godschalk, R.W.L.

AU - Southwood, T.R.

AU - Smits , L.

AU - Stratakis, N.

AU - van der Wurff, I.S.M.

AU - Zeegers, M.P.

PY - 2019/5

Y1 - 2019/5

N2 - BackgroundThe prenatal exposure to maternal n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) might influence the development of social competence and internalizing and externalizing behaviours of the child, because of the numerous functions of PUFAs within the nervous system.MethodsTo analyse the association of selected maternal PUFAs (i.e., AA, EPA, DHA, total n-6, total n-3, and the n-6:n-3 ratio) measured during gestation with childhood social competence and problem behaviours, we examined 311 mother-child pairs from the Maastricht Essential Fatty Acid Birth (MEFAB) cohort. For each woman, PUFA-specific changes in relative concentrations were calculated by identifying the best-fitting curve of PUFA concentration by linear splines of gestational age. The associations of changes in maternal PUFAs in early and late pregnancy with childhood social competence, total problems, internalizing and externalizing behaviours, measured with the Child Behaviour Checklist 4/18 at age 7, were investigated with linear regression analyses adjusted for maternal and children's socio-demographic characteristics.ResultsIn late gestation (i.e., from gestational week 30), an increase in AA was associated with higher social competence, while a decrease in total n-6 was associated with lower externalizing behaviours. No other significant associations were found.DiscussionIn this prospective study, increasing maternal AA and decreasing total n-6 were associated with improved social competence and externalizing behaviours, respectively, in 7-year old children. Nonetheless, the clinical significance of the identified associations is modest and further investigations are warranted to clarify the relationship between maternal AA and total n-6 during pregnancy and childhood social and behavioural development.

AB - BackgroundThe prenatal exposure to maternal n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) might influence the development of social competence and internalizing and externalizing behaviours of the child, because of the numerous functions of PUFAs within the nervous system.MethodsTo analyse the association of selected maternal PUFAs (i.e., AA, EPA, DHA, total n-6, total n-3, and the n-6:n-3 ratio) measured during gestation with childhood social competence and problem behaviours, we examined 311 mother-child pairs from the Maastricht Essential Fatty Acid Birth (MEFAB) cohort. For each woman, PUFA-specific changes in relative concentrations were calculated by identifying the best-fitting curve of PUFA concentration by linear splines of gestational age. The associations of changes in maternal PUFAs in early and late pregnancy with childhood social competence, total problems, internalizing and externalizing behaviours, measured with the Child Behaviour Checklist 4/18 at age 7, were investigated with linear regression analyses adjusted for maternal and children's socio-demographic characteristics.ResultsIn late gestation (i.e., from gestational week 30), an increase in AA was associated with higher social competence, while a decrease in total n-6 was associated with lower externalizing behaviours. No other significant associations were found.DiscussionIn this prospective study, increasing maternal AA and decreasing total n-6 were associated with improved social competence and externalizing behaviours, respectively, in 7-year old children. Nonetheless, the clinical significance of the identified associations is modest and further investigations are warranted to clarify the relationship between maternal AA and total n-6 during pregnancy and childhood social and behavioural development.

KW - Prenatal programming

KW - Developmental origins of health and disease

KW - Biomarkers

KW - Polyunsaturated fatty acids

KW - Problem behaviours

KW - Social competence

KW - DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID

KW - PHOSPHOLIPIDS

KW - PLASMA

KW - HEALTH

KW - SUPPLEMENTATION

KW - CONSUMPTION

U2 - 10.1016/j.plefa.2019.04.002

DO - 10.1016/j.plefa.2019.04.002

M3 - Article

VL - 144

SP - 1

EP - 9

JO - Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, & Essential Fatty Acids

JF - Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, & Essential Fatty Acids

ER -