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RATIONALE: Higher pulse wave velocity (PWV) reflects increased arterial stiffness and is an established cardiovascular risk marker associated with lower long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake in adults. Experimentally, maternal fatty acid intake in pregnancy has lasting effects on offspring arterial stiffness. OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between maternal consumption of oily fish, a source of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, in pregnancy and child's aortic stiffness age 9 years. METHODS AND RESULTS: In a mother-offspring study (Southampton Women's Survey), the child's descending aorta PWV was measured at the age of 9 years using velocity-encoded phase-contrast MRI and related to maternal oily fish consumption assessed prospectively during pregnancy. Higher oily fish consumption in late pregnancy was associated with lower childhood aortic PWV (sex-adjusted β=-0.084 m/s per portion per week; 95% confidence interval, -0.137 to -0.031; P=0.002; n=226). Mother's educational attainment was independently associated with child's PWV. PWV was not associated with the child's current oily fish consumption. CONCLUSIONS: Level of maternal oily fish consumption in pregnancy may influence child's large artery development, with potential long-term consequences for later cardiovascular risk.

Original publication




Journal article


Circ res

Publication Date





1202 - 1205


fatty acids, pregnancy, vascular stiffness, Adult, Animals, Birth Weight, Breast Feeding, Child, Educational Status, Fatty Acids, Omega-3, Feeding Behavior, Female, Fish Oils, Fishes, Follow-Up Studies, Hemodynamics, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Trimester, First, Pregnancy Trimester, Third, Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects, Prospective Studies, Pulse Wave Analysis, Seafood, Smoking, Socioeconomic Factors, Vascular Stiffness