Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status during pregnancy and maternal mental health in pregnancy and the postpartum period: results from the GUSTO study.

TitleLong-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status during pregnancy and maternal mental health in pregnancy and the postpartum period: results from the GUSTO study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsChong MFF, Ong Y-L, Calder PC, Colega M, X Y Wong J, Tan CSeng, Lim ALin, Fisk HL, Cai S, Pang WWei, Broekman BFP, Saw SMei, Kwek K, Godfrey KM, Chong Y-S, Gluckman P, Meaney MJ, Chen H
Corporate Authorsgroup Gstudy
JournalJ Clin Psychiatry
Date Published2015 Jul
KeywordsAdult, Anxiety, Depression, Depression, Postpartum, Fatty Acids, Omega-3, Fatty Acids, Omega-6, Female, Humans, Postpartum Period, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Singapore

OBJECTIVE: Studies have demonstrated a relationship between lower omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) status and anxiety and depression. It is uncertain whether similar associations occur in pregnant women, when anxiety and depression could have long-term effects on the offspring. We examined the associations between plasma LC-PUFA status during pregnancy and perinatal mental health.METHOD: At 26-28 weeks' gestation, plasma LC-PUFAs were measured in mothers of the Growing Up in Singapore Toward healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) mother-offspring cohort study, who were recruited between June 2009 and September 2010. Maternal symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) during the same period and at 3 months' postpartum. The STAI-state subscale was used as a continuous measure of current anxiety, while EPDS scores ≥ 15 during pregnancy or ≥ 13 postpartum were indicative of symptoms of probable depression.RESULTS: In adjusted regression analyses (n = 698), lower plasma total omega-3 PUFA concentrations (β = -6.49 STAI-state subscale scores/unit increase of omega-3 fatty acid; 95% CI, -11.90 to -1.08) and higher plasma omega-6:omega-3 PUFA ratios (β = 6.58 scores/unit increase of fatty acid ratio; 95% CI, 1.19 to 12.66), specifically higher arachidonic acid (AA):docosahexaenoic acid, AA:eicosapentaenoic acid, and AA:docosapentaenoic acid ratios, were associated with increased antenatal anxiety (P < .05 for all), but not postpartum anxiety. There was no association between plasma PUFAs and perinatal probable depression.CONCLUSIONS: No association was found with probable depression in pregnancy or postpartum. Lower plasma omega-3 fatty acids and higher omega-6:omega-3 fatty acid ratios were associated with higher antenatal anxiety, but not postpartum anxiety. Replication in other studies is needed to confirm the findings and determine the direction of causality.TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01174875.

Alternate JournalJ Clin Psychiatry
PubMed ID26231011
Grant ListMC_UP_A620_1017 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_UU_12011/4 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom