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Does Lack of Multinutrient Supplementation During Early Pregnancy Increase Vulnerability to Alcohol-Related Preterm or Small-for-Gestational-Age Births?

The objective of this study was to assess whether women who do not take multinutrient supplements during early pregnancy are more susceptible to the effects of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption on preterm birth and small-for-gestational-age birth (SGA) compared to women who do take multinutrients. This analysis included 800 singleton live births to mothers from a cohort of pregnant women recruited for a population-based cohort study conducted in the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Northern California. Participants were recruited in their first trimester of pregnancy and information about their alcohol use and supplement intake during pregnancy was collected. Preterm birth (n = 53, 7%) was defined as a delivery prior to 37 completed weeks of gestation and SGA birth (n = 124, 16%) was defined as birth weight less than the 10th percentile for the infant’s gestational age and sex compared to US singleton live births. A twofold increase in the odds of SGA birth attributed to low-to-moderate alcohol intake was found among multinutrient supplement non-users (95% CI: 1.1, 5.3). Yet, among multinutrient supplement users, there was no increased risk of an SGA birth for women who drank low-to-moderately compared to women who abstained (aOR: 0.97, 95% CI: 0.6, 1.6). Similar results emerged for preterm birth. Our findings provide marginal evidence that multinutrient supplementation during early pregnancy may modify the risk of SGA births and preterm birth associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy and may have important implications for pregnant women and women of child-bearing age. However, future research needs to be conducted.

Authors: Avalos LA; Kaskutas L; Block G; Abrams B; Li DK

Matern Child Health J. 2011 Nov;15(8):1324-32.

PubMed abstract

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