BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relation between docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) status and neurodevelopment in the offsprings of gestational diabetic mothers (ODMs). SUBJECTS/METHODS: A prospective cohort study was performed. The offspring of 63 pregnant women (23 controls, 21 diet-controlled gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and 19 insulin-treated GDM) were recruited. Maternal and venous cord plasma DHA percentages were analyzed. Skin temperature and activity in children were recorded for 72 h at 3 and 6 months of life. Neurodevelopment was assessed using the Bayley Scale of Infant Development II (BSID II) at 6 and 12 months of age. RESULTS: Cord plasma DHA percentage was significantly lower in the ODMs compared with that in the controls (Control 6.43 [5.04-7.82](a); GDM+diet 5.65 [4.44-6.86](ab); GDM+insulin 5.53 [4.45-6.61](b)). Both mental (Control 102.71 [97.61-107.81](a); GDM+diet 100.39 [91.43-109.35](a); GDM+insulin 93.94 [88.31-99.57](b)) and psychomotor (Control 91.52 [81.82-101.22](a); GDM+diet 81.67 [73.95-89.39](b); GDM+insulin 81.89 [71.96-91.85](b)) scores evaluated by the BSID II were significantly lower at 6 months in ODMs, even after adjusting for confounding factors such as breastfeeding, maternal educational level and gender. Cord plasma DHA percentage correlated with the psychomotor score from BSID II (r=0.27; P=0.049) and with the intra-daily variability in activity (r=-0.24; P=0.043) at 6 months. Maternal DHA was correlated with several sleep rhythm maturation parameters at 6 months. CONCLUSIONS: Lower DHA levels in cord plasma of ODMs could affect their neurodevelopment. Maternal DHA status was also associated with higher values in the sleep rhythm maturation parameters of children.
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