Main content area

Growth to Age 18 Months Following Prenatal Supplementation with Docosahexaenoic Acid Differs by Maternal Gravidity in Mexico

Stein, Aryeh D., Wang, Meng, Martorell, Reynaldo, Neufeld, Lynnette M., Flores-Ayala, Rafael, Rivera, Juan A., Ramakrishnan, Usha
Journal of nutrition 2011 v.141 no.2 pp. 316-320
head circumference, pregnant women, height, dietary supplements, preschool children, child nutrition, parity (reproduction), child growth, infant nutrition, cohort studies, pregnancy, maternal nutrition, infants, prenatal care, nutritional status, docosahexaenoic acid, longitudinal studies, birth weight, Mexico
Little is known about the long-term effects of DHA intake during pregnancy. Offspring of primagravid Mexican women who received 400 mg/d DHA from wk 20 of gestation through delivery were heavier and had larger head circumferences at birth than children whose mothers received placebo; no effect was observed in offspring of multigravidae. We have followed these children (n = 739; 76% of the birth cohort), measuring length, weight, and head circumference at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 mo. At 18 mo, intent-to-treat differences between placebo and DHA, adjusted for maternal height and child sex and age at measurement, were: length, -0.21 cm (95% CI = -0.58, 0.15); weight, -0.03 kg (95% CI =-0.19, 0.13); and head circumference, 0.02 cm (95% CI = -0.18, 0.21) (all P > 0.05). There was heterogeneity of associations by maternal gravidity for weight (P < 0.08), length (P < 0.02), and head circumference (P < 0.05). Among offspring of primagravid women, length at 18 mo was increased by 0.72 cm (95% CI = 0.11, 1.33) following DHA supplementation, representing 0.26 length-for-age Z-score units; among offspring of multigravidae, the estimate was -0.13 cm (95% CI = -0.59, 0.32) (P > 0.5). Maternal DHA supplementation during the second half of gestation may enhance growth through 18 mo of children born to primagravid women.