Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in breast-milk and erythrocytes and neurodevelopmental outcomes in Danish late-preterm infants

Stine Brøndum Andersen, Lars I Hellgren, Mette Krogh Larsen, Henrik Verder, Lotte Lauritzen

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    Abstract

    Background: The supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) during pregnancy and early lactation has been shown to affect cognitive development in preterm infants, but the effect on early neurodevelopment of late-preterm infants has not yet been examined. Aim: To examine the fatty acid composition of late-preterm human milk and identify possible associations between infant LC-PUFA status and perinatal as well as 1-year neurobehavioral outcomes. Methods: Mother’s milk and erythrocytes (RBC) were sampled from 53 Danish late-preterm infants (33-36 weeks of gestation) 1 week and 1 month after delivery, and 3 months corrected age. Fatty acid composition was determined by gas-liquid chromatography. Neurodevelopmental outcomes were assessed by the Nicu Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS) at 1 week and 1 month and the Bayley Scales (BSID-III) at 1 year corrected age. Results: We found that breast-milk content of arachidonic acid (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was similar to reported fatty acid compositions of term human milk. Infant RBC-AA decreased from 1 week to 1 month of age and the size of the decrease was associated with better NNNS-scores at 1 month, specifically on regulation (p=0.03). Infant RBC-AA at 1 month was also associated with a lower 1-year corrected age BSID-III score of receptive language (p=0.05) and fine motor development (p=0.03). Infant RBC-DHA did not ecrease significantly after delivery and was not associated with any of the developmental outcomes. Conclusion: Breast-milk LC-PUFA content was reflected in the RBC LC-PUFA status of the infant. Early RBC-AA status was associated with both early and long-term neurobehavioral development, but not in a consistent way.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number160
    JournalJournal of Pregnancy and Child Health
    Volume2
    Issue number3
    Number of pages9
    ISSN2376-127X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Bibliographical note

    © 2015 Andersen SB, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    Keywords

    • Late-preterm infant
    • Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid
    • Neurodevelopment
    • Breastfeeding
    • Human milk
    • Erythrocytes

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