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N-3 LC PUFAs in infant formula and blood pressure in early childhood

Session Poster Session III - Friday 08:30 - 12:30

Speaker Lenie van Rossem

Event : ESC Preventive Cardiology (Formerly EuroPrevent) 2015

  • Topic : preventive cardiology
  • Sub-topic : Lipids
  • Session type : Poster Session

Authors : LPM Pluymen (Utrecht,NL), CSPM Uiterwaal (Utrecht,NL), GW Dalmeijer (Utrecht,NL), HA Smit (Utrecht,NL), CK Van Der Ent (Utrecht,NL), L Van Rossem (Utrecht,NL)

LPM Pluymen1 , CSPM Uiterwaal1 , GW Dalmeijer1 , HA Smit1 , CK Van Der Ent2 , L Van Rossem1 , 1University Medical Center Utrecht, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care - Utrecht - Netherlands , 2University Medical Center Utrecht, Department of Pediatric Respiratory Diseases - Utrecht - Netherlands ,


Purpose: The protective effect of breastfeeding on risk levels for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) might be explained by its content of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC PUFAs). Since 2007, most infant formulas are supplemented with these fatty acids. We assessed whether children who received supplemented formula had a lower blood pressure than children who received unsupplemented formula.

Methods: We used the ongoing WHeezing Illnesses STudy LEidsche Rijn (WHISTLER), a birth cohort that included children who were born between 2001 and 2011. Data on infant feeding was obtained by questionnaire. At age 5 (currently: all children born before May 2007), blood pressure was measured. We performed linear regression analyses on 202 children who had complete data on type of formula feeding and blood pressure. Analyses were adjusted for predictors of blood pressure.

Results: 5 year old children who received infant formula with n-3 LC PUFAs (n=15) had a lower systolic (-3.68 mmHg, 95% CI -7.67, 0.32) and diastolic ( -2.32 mmHg, 95% CI -6.32, 1.67) blood pressure (adjusted for smoking during pregnancy, birth weight and gestational age), compared to children who received unsupplemented formula (n= 187). After additional correction for BMI, the association with systolic blood pressure was slightly attenuated (-3.05 mmHg, 95%CI -6.93, 0.83) while the association with diastolic blood pressure remained the same. 

Conclusions: These results suggest a protective effect of n-3 LC PUFAs in infant formula on blood pressure in early childhood. Further follow-up will increase power to draw firmer conclusions on whether the protective effect remains.

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