Serum fatty acids are positively associated with changes in systemic blood pressure throughout pregnancy

Jaqueline Lepsch, Dayana Rodrigues Farias, Ilana Eshriqui, Fernanda Rebelo, Juliana dos Santos Vaz, Amanda Amorim Adegboye, Joseph R. Hibbeln, Gilberto Kac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: To assess whether serum concentrations of saturated (SFAs), polyunsaturated (PUFAs), and monounsaturated (MUFAs) fatty acids are associated with changes in blood pressure (BP) throughout pregnancy. Study design: Prospective cohort. Main outcome measures: Longitudinal measurements of systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) BP. Methods: Two hundred twenty-three healthy pregnant women were recruited in a public health center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil between 2009 and 2011. Fasting blood samples and BP measurements were obtained at the 1st (5th–13th weeks), 2nd (20th–26th) and 3rd trimester (30th–36th). Crude and adjusted (maternal age, education, energy intake, gestational body weight change, leptin concentrations, early pre-pregnancy BMI, leisure time physical activity prior to pregnancy and linear and quadratic gestational weeks) longitudinal linear mixed-effects models were employed. Results: SBP and DBP decreased from the 1st to the 2nd trimester and slightly increased from the 2nd to the 3rd trimester (P < 0.001). In the adjusted model (ß and 95% CI), total SFAs [0.005 (0.001–0.008); P = 0.008], total MUFAs [0.005 (0.001–0.009); P = 0.019] and total n-6 PUFAs [0.005 (0.001–0.009); P = 0.025] were positively associated with SBP throughout pregnancy. Conclusions: Maternal serum concentrations of total SFAs, MUFAs and n-6 PUFAs were positively associated with BP levels in normotensive pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalPregnancy Hypertension
Early online date25 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure
  • Cohort study
  • Fatty acids
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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