Higher oily fish consumption in late pregnancy is associated with reduced aortic stiffness in the child at age 9 years.
Bryant J., Hanson M., Peebles C., Davies L., Inskip H., Robinson S., Calder PC., Cooper C., Godfrey KM.
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.