• Article

Erythrocyte omega-3, omega-6 and trans fatty acids in relation to risk of preeclampsia among women delivering at Harare Maternity Hospital, Zimbabwe

We sought to examine the association between maternal erythrocyte omega-3, omega-6 and trans fatty acids and risk of preeclampsia. We conducted a case-control study of 170 women with proteinuric, pregnancy-induced hypertension and 185 normotensive pregnant women who delivered at Harare Maternity Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe. We measured erythrocyte omega-3, omega-6 and trans fatty acid as the percentage of total fatty acids using gas chromatography. After multivariate adjustment for confounding factors, women in the highest quartile group for total omega-3 fatty acids compared with women in the lowest quartile experienced a 14% reduction in risk of preeclampsia (odds ratio 0.86, 95% confidence interval 0.45 to 1.63). For total omega-6 fatty acids the odds ratio was 0.46 (95% confidence interval 0.23 to 0.92), although there was suggestion of a slight increase in risk of preeclampsia associated with high levels of arachidonic acid. Among women in the highest quartile for arachidonic acid the odds ratio was 1.29 (95% confidence interval 0.66 to 2.54). A strong statistically significant positive association of diunsaturated fatty acids with a trans double bond with risk of preeclampsia was observed. Women in the upper quartile of 9-cis 12-trans octadecanoic acid (C(18:2n6ct)) compared with those in the lowest quartile experienced a 3-fold higher risk of preeclampsia (odds ratio = 3.02, 95% confidence interval 1.41 to 6.45). Among women in the highest quartile for 9-trans 12-cis octadecanoic acid (C(18:2n6tc)) the odds ratio was 3.32 (95% confidence interval 1.55 to 7.13). Monounsaturated trans fatty acids were also positively associated with the risk of preeclampsia, although of much reduced magnitude. We observed a strong positive association of trans fatty acids, particularly diunsaturated trans fatty acids, with the risk of preeclampsia. We found little support for the hypothesized inverse association between omega-3 fatty acids and preeclampsia risk in this population. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, were comparatively lower in Zimbabwean than among US pregnant women. Given the limited inter-person variation in omega-3 fatty acids among Zimbabwean women, our sample size may be too small to adequately assess the relation in this population

Citation

Mahomed, K., Williams, M. A., King, I. B., Mudzamiri, S., & Woelk, G. (2007). Erythrocyte omega-3, omega-6 and trans fatty acids in relation to risk of preeclampsia among women delivering at Harare Maternity Hospital, Zimbabwe. Physiological Research / Academia Scientiarum Bohemoslovaca, 56(1), 37-50.