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Dietary Fat Intake and Fecundability in 2 Preconception Cohort Studies

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  • Lauren A Wise
  • ,
  • Amelia K Wesselink
  • ,
  • Katherine L Tucker, Department of Clinical Laboratory and Nutritional Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts.
  • ,
  • Shilpa Saklani
  • ,
  • Ellen M Mikkelsen
  • Heidi Cueto
  • ,
  • Anders H Riis
  • Ellen Trolle
  • ,
  • Craig J McKinnon
  • ,
  • Kristen A Hahn
  • ,
  • Kenneth J Rothman
  • ,
  • Henrik Toft Sørensen
  • Elizabeth E Hatch

The association between dietary fat and fertility is not well studied. We evaluated intakes of total fat, saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids (TFA), ω-3 fatty acids, and ω-6 fatty acids in relation to fecundability in Danish and North American preconception cohort studies. Women who were attempting to become pregnant completed a validated food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Pregnancy status was updated bimonthly for 12 months or until pregnancy. Fecundability ratios (FR) and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using multivariable proportional probabilities regression. Intakes of total fat and saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and ω-6 fatty acids were not appreciably associated with fecundability. TFA intake was associated with reduced fecundability in North American women (for the fourth quartile vs. the first, FR = 0.86, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.71, 1.04) but not Danish women (for the fourth quartile vs. the first, FR = 1.04, 95% CI: 0.86, 1.25), though intake among Danish women was low. In North America, ω-3 fatty acid intake was associated with higher fecundability, but there was no dose-response relationship (among persons who did not use fish oil supplements: for the fourth quartile vs. the first, FR = 1.40, 95% CI: 1.13, 1.73); no association was found in Danish women, among whom low intake was rare. In the present study, high TFA intake and low ω-3 fatty acid intake were associated with reduced fecundity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Pages (from-to)60-74
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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