BACKGROUND: Results from 2 cohort studies in Scotland established in the 1940s and 1950s (Aberdeen and Motherwell) suggested that a high protein diet during pregnancy might adversely influence offspring blood pressure at adult age. Our objective was to examine this association in the Danish Fetal Origins Cohort (DaFO88).METHODS AND RESULTS: This was a prospective birth cohort of 965 women who gave birth in 1988-1989 in Aarhus, Denmark, and whose offspring (n=434) participated in a clinical examination ≈20 years later. Macronutrient intake was assessed in gestational week 30. Multivariable adjusted linear regression was used to examine the relation between higher maternal protein intake, at the expense of carbohydrates, and offspring blood pressure (isocaloric substitution). Main analyses were adjusted for mother's age during pregnancy, prepregnancy body mass index, parity, smoking during pregnancy, educational level, and offspring's sex. The mean total energy intake was 8.7 MJ/day (SD 2.3 MJ/day). The mean energy from carbohydrate, fat, and protein intake was 51, 31, and 16 of total energy, respectively. The results showed that after adjustment, higher maternal protein intake was associated with slightly higher offspring diastolic blood pressure (highest compared with the lowest quintile of protein intake: ∆=2.4 mm Hg; 95% CI 0.4-4.4; P=0.03 for trend). Similar differences, although not significant, were found for systolic blood pressure (∆=2.6 mm Hg; 95% CI -0.0 to 5.3; P=0.08 for trend).CONCLUSIONS: Higher maternal dietary protein intake at the expense of carbohydrates was associated with a modest increase in offspring blood pressure in young adulthood.
- blood pressure
- young adults