Maternal characteristics influence response to DHA during pregnancy

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We explored the degree to which maternal and offspring outcomes resulting from consuming prenatal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 800 mg/day) in a clinical trial were influenced by maternal characteristics. Among non-smokers, women who received DHA had heavier babies (adjusted mean difference (MD)=99 g 95% CI 45-153, p<0.01; interaction p=0.01) and fewer low birth weight babies than control women (adjusted relative risk=0.43 95% CI 0.25-0.74, p<0.01; interaction p=0.01). From women who had not completed further education, children in the DHA group had higher cognitive scores at 18 months compared with control children (adjusted MD=3.15 95% CI 0.93-5.37, p=0.01; interaction p<0.01). Conversely, the children of women who completed further education in the DHA group had lower language scores than control children (adjusted MD -2.82 95% CI -4.90 to -0.73, p=0.01; interaction p=0.04). Our results support the notion that responsiveness to prenatal DHA may depend on the characteristics of specific population subgroups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalProstaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 May 2016


  • DHA
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Pregnancy
  • Supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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