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Periconceptional folic acid supplementation and anthropometric measures at birth in a cohort of pregnant women in Valencia, Spain

  • Maria Pastor-Valero (a1) (a2), Eva Maria Navarrete-Muñoz (a1) (a2), Marisa Rebagliato (a2), Carmen Iñiguez (a2) (a3), Mario Murcia (a2) (a3), Alfredo Marco (a2) (a4), Ferran Ballester (a2) (a3) and Jesus Vioque (a1) (a2)...

We examined the relationship between dietary folate intake and periconceptional use of folic acid (FA) supplements, and small-for-gestational age for weight (SGA-W) and height (SGA-H). The study is based on 786 Spanish women aged 16 years or above, who attended the first-term prenatal population-based screening programme (10–13 weeks) at the reference hospital ‘La Fe’, Valencia, with singleton pregnancy. Periconceptional use of FA supplements was categorised as non-users, moderate users ( ≤ 1 mg/d) and high users (>1 mg/d). Babies born to mothers who used high doses of FA supplements had a significant reduction in mean birth height compared with babies of non-users (β = − 0·53, 95 % CI − 0·96, − 0·09). As regards weight, mothers using moderate and high doses of FA supplements had lower-birth-weight babies for gestational age than non-users (β = − 22·96, 95 % CI − 101·14, 55·23; β = − 89·72, 95 % CI − 188·64, 9·21, respectively), although these decreases were not significant. Results from the multivariate logistic regression models showed that high FA supplement users had a higher significant risk for SGA-H (OR 5·33, 95 % CI 2·08, 13·7), and that users of moderate doses were not associated with a higher risk of either a SGA-W or a SGA-H baby. In contrast, increased quintiles of the dietary intake of folate were associated with a decreased risk of SGA-W (P for trend = 0·002), although no association was observed for SGA-H. Our findings suggest that periconceptional use of FA supplements greater than 1 mg/d is associated with decreased birth height and may entail a risk of decreased birth weight.

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*Corresponding author: M. Pastor-Valero, fax +34 96591955; email
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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
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