A fish-rich maternal diet is linked to birth weight

  • Amezcua-Prieto C & al.
  • BMJ Open
  • 17 Aug 2018

  • curated by Elisabeth Aron, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Women who eat more fish during pregnancy have lower rates of infants diagnosed as small for gestational age (SGA).

Why this matters

  • Fish consumption has been associated with a higher IQ and extended gestation time and may affect fetal body composition.
  • Concern for environmental contamination with methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls has led regulatory agencies to warn about overconsumption of some fish and consumption of "safer" species during pregnancy.
  • SGA is associated with perinatal complications.

Key results

  • A higher fish intake was associated with lower risk for SGA (fish intake >29 g/day: aOR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.41-0.98).

Study design

  • Case-control study of cohort taken from 5 hospitals in Spain between 2012 and 2015.
  • Healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies were included.
  • Women with SGA babies were compared with control women (SGA is defined as birth weight
  • Data on fish consumption were collected through interviews, clinical charts, and medical records.
  • Funding: The National Institute of Health Carlos III.

Limitations

  • Data subject to recall bias; participants may not accurately quantify how much and what type of fish was eaten.
  • This study only assessed for weight; other neonatal and childhood outcomes were not addressed.
  • Results may not be generalizable to other communities.

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