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Vegetable Intake Before Pregnancy Tied to Birth Outcomes

Higher intake of traditional vegetables before pregnancy may lower risk for preterm birth

pregnant woman

FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Greater vegetable intake before pregnancy is associated with better birth outcomes, according to a study published online April 13 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Dereje G. Gete, from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues used data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (2003 to 2015) to identify 3,422 and 3,508 singleton live births that were preterm and low birth weight, respectively, to examine the association between prepregnancy dietary patterns and the risk for these conditions.

The researchers found that greater adherence to the traditional vegetables pattern before pregnancy was associated with a lower risk for preterm birth and spontaneous preterm birth when adjusting for lifestyle factors and pregnancy complications (highest versus lowest tertile of vegetable consumption: adjusted odds ratio, 0.72 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.53 to 0.99]; relative risk ratio, 0.62 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.39 to 1.00]). Prepregnancy body mass index attenuated these associations. There were no significant associations between prepregnancy dietary patterns and low birth weight.

"This study suggests that better adherence to the traditional vegetables pattern before pregnancy is associated with a lower risk of preterm birth, particularly spontaneous preterm birth among nulliparous women," the authors write.

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