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Research Letter |

Four-Year Follow-up of Children Born to Women in a Randomized Trial of Prenatal DHA Supplementation

Maria Makrides, BSc, BND, PhD1; Jacqueline F. Gould, BSoSc, BHSc(Hons), PhD2; Nicola R. Gawlik, BPsych(Hons)3; Lisa N. Yelland, BMa & CompSc(Hons), PhD4; Lisa G. Smithers, GradDip(Hum Nutr), MPH, PhD4; Peter J. Anderson, BA, GradDip(AppPsych), PhD5; Robert A. Gibson, BSc, PhD6
[+] Author Affiliations
1South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, Australia
2Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute, Adelaide, Australia
3School of Pediatrics and Reproductive Health, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
4School of Population Health, University of Adelaide
5Clinical Sciences, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Victoria, Australia
6School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide
JAMA. 2014;311(17):1802-1804. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2194.
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Despite the paucity of evidence, recommendations exist internationally for pregnant women to increase their docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intake to optimize fetal brain development. Our randomized controlled trial (RCT), in which pregnant women were allocated to 800 mg/d of DHA or matched placebo, showed that children’s mean cognitive, language, and motor scores did not differ between groups at 18 months, although fewer children in the DHA group had delayed development compared with controls.1 Surprisingly, girls in the DHA group had poorer language scores than girls in the control group.1 Herein we report neurodevelopmental outcomes at 4 years, which is when any subtle to moderate effects on development should have emerged and can be more reliably assessed.

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