Maternal Dietary Nutrient Intake and Risk of Preterm Delivery

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To examine maternal dietary intake and preterm delivery.

Study Design

Data included 5738 deliveries from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Odds ratios (ORs) reflected risks of delivery at <32, 32-34, or 35-36 versus ≥37 weeks for maternal intake in the lowest or highest quartile of nutrient intake compared with the middle two.


Among deliveries < 32 weeks, many ORs were ≥1.5 or ≤0.7, but few confidence intervals excluded one. ORs were ≥1.5 for lowest quartiles of protein, thiamin, riboflavin, choline, vitamin A, α-carotene, β-carotene, vitamin E, iron, copper, and zinc and for highest quartiles of carbohydrate, glycemic index, and Mediterranean Diet Score. ORs were ≤0.7 for lowest quartiles of glycemic index and betaine and for highest quartiles of protein, alanine, methionine, vitamin B6, betaine, and calcium. Few ORs met these criteria for later preterm deliveries.


Results suggested an association of nutrient intake with earlier preterm deliveries.

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