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Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) Nutrition 5-Year-Olds Follow-Up Study

This study has been completed.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of British Columbia Identifier:
First received: April 27, 2010
Last updated: April 14, 2015
Last verified: April 2015

Docosahexanoic acid (DHA) is concentrated in the human brain. Before birth, DHA is transferred across the placenta, but transfer depends on maternal DHA intake. After birth, DHA is provided by breast milk or the child's diet. This study addresses whether DHA intakes are adequate to support human brain development.

In a previous study "N-3 Fatty Acid Requirements for Human Development" (C03-0242), pregnant women were randomly assigned to 400 mg/day DHA or placebo from 16 weeks of gestation until infant delivery. Blood DHA in gestation, and infant development to 18 months were assessed. This follow-up study will assess if maternal DHA in gestation has long-term influence on child development when assessed at 5 years and the impact of the child's own diet.

Docosahexanoic Acid (DHA) Status

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: n-3 Fatty Acids and Early Child Nutrition: 5-Year-Olds Follow-Up Study

Further study details as provided by University of British Columbia:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • maternal DHA status in gestation [ Time Frame: 16 & 36 weeks gestation ]
    red blood cell DHA biochemistries

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • plasma lutein and Red blood cell DHA [ Time Frame: 5 years 8 months to 6 years ]
    plasma lutein and red blood cell DHA biochemistries

Other Outcome Measures:
  • cognitive development with standardized developmental tests [ Time Frame: 5 years 8 months to 6 years ]
    Assessment with the Kaufman Developmental Assessment Battery

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA
Plasma and blood cells

Enrollment: 98
Study Start Date: February 2010
Study Completion Date: November 2014
Primary Completion Date: November 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

This research is a prospective follow-up on an existing cohort of women and their children to determine whether dietary intakes of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) during pregnancy have effects lasting into early childhood. The purpose of this study is to assess the relationship between maternal DHA status in gestation, which is known, and the child 's own diet and relevant genetic variables on the child's neural, cognitive and behavioral development. Hypotheses: 1. maternal DHA status in gestation has a lasting effect on infant development evident when assessed in early childhood 2. Children with low DHA status will be at increased risk for poor scores on tests of development. 3. Genetic variation in fatty acid metabolism will influence blood fatty acids in preschool children.

Objectives: 1. To determine if low maternal DHA status in gestation is related to child development at 5 years of age; 2. To determine the DHA status of children 5 years-of-age in relation to scores on tests of development; 3. To identify the dietary patterns that place children at risk for poor DHA status; 4. To assess if genetic variation in fatty acid metabolism alters blood lipid fatty acids in children This research is a prospective follow-up of 209 children that were last assessed at age 18 months and for whom maternal DHA status in gestation is known. The children with their parents are invited to attend our nutrition lab at the Child and Family Research Institute where the child will complete play-like developmental assessments. Measurement of blood pressure, heart rate, height and weight will be completed and blood samples will be collected to measure DHA, other relevant nutrient that impact development and genetic variables relevant to fatty acids. The parent will provide information on the child' diet and health. Baseline characteristics for the subjects will be summarized using descriptive statistics. Logistic regression will be used to assess the relationship of DHA status to cognitive development with multi-variable-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of a negative outcome and corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI). Regressions will also be run with the outcomes in continuous form to assess the changes in scores associated with increments of child DHA status. For all multivariate regression models, potential confounders will be screened in stepwise fashion, and any covariate with a regression coefficient P-value < 0.05 (two-sided) will be retained. Variables will include gender, birth weight, gestation length, maternal intelligence quotient (IQ), ethnicity, breast-feeding duration, birth order, and dichotomized variables of child health, eating behavior and martial status. Children will grouped in quintiles of DHA status and descriptive statistics will be used to present intakes of total fat, individual fatty acids. ANOVA will be used to determine if genetic variables influence blood DHA status.


Ages Eligible for Study:   19 Years to 40 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
Mothers who participated in study (REB # C03-0242 and C&W W03-0084) and who have already provided written consent for re-contact to participate with their 5 year old child will participate in this follow-up study

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Mothers who participated in study (REB # C03-0242 and C&W W03-0084)
  • who have already provided written consent for re-contact to participate with their 5 year old child.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Mothers who did not participate in the previous study "N-3 fatty acid requirements for human development"
  • Mothers who have not provided written consent for re-contact.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01112904

Canada, British Columbia
Child & Family Research Institute, Nutrition and Metabolism Research Program
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V5Z4H4
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of British Columbia
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Principal Investigator: Sheila M. Innis, Dr. University of British Columbia
Study Director: Tim Oberlander, MD University of British Columbia
  More Information

Responsible Party: University of British Columbia Identifier: NCT01112904     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: H09-01633
Study First Received: April 27, 2010
Last Updated: April 14, 2015

Keywords provided by University of British Columbia:
essential fatty acids
DHA status
preschool children
gestation processed this record on April 28, 2017