Life-course Epidemiology

MEFAB cohort

In the Maastricht Essential Fatty Acid Birth cohort (MEFAB cohort) fatty acid profiles have been measured between 1990 and 1996 in plasma phospholipids of about 1200 women during pregnancy and at delivery. In addition, fatty acid measurements were performed in phospholipids isolated from cord plasma of their neonates. In about 750 (veins) and 550 (arteries) cases, phospholipid fatty acid compositions of the walls of umbilical blood vessels were measured. In about 300 mother-neonate pairs, maternal and cord erythrocyte phospholipids were analyzed as well. These fatty acid compositions, together with pregnancy outcome data, have been recorded and all children of the MEFAB cohort are being followed up for health outcome status, which includes their mental development and their early cardiovascular risk profile. Current studies on the role of essential fatty acids in the etiology of childhood health problems and early risk factors for chronic diseases, and for the design of nutritional intervention strategies during pregnancy and infancy are underway.

Video Maastricht Essential Fatty Acid Birth Cohort

Research group

Prof. Maurice Zeegers
Marij Gielen, PhD
Renate de Groot, PhD
Roger Godschalk, PhD
Nikos Stratakis, PhD
Inge van der Wurff, PhD


Marij Gielen, PhD