Adherence to Mediterranean diet associated with lower risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy

In a new study evaluating the negative effects of the Mediterranean diet and pregnancy, researchers at the Smidt Heart Institute in Cedars-Sinai found that women who became pregnant while adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet had a significant risk of developing pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. found to be low.

A study published today in a peer-reviewed journal JAMA network openalso assessed the association of the Mediterranean diet with other adverse effects of pregnancy, including gestational diabetes, hypertension, preterm birth, premature birth, and stillbirth.

This multicenter, population-based study validates that healthier dietary patterns are associated with a reduced risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, most interestingly a 28% lower risk of pre-eclampsia. is doing Importantly, this relationship between the Mediterranean diet and reduced risk of adverse pregnancy effects was found in geographically, racially, and ethnically diverse populations.”

Natalie Bello, MD, MPH, Director of Hypertension Research at Smidt Heart Institute and senior and corresponding author of this study

Bello also notes that the researchers found this association to be stronger in women over the age of 35, traditionally considered to be of older maternal age.

Pre-eclampsia is a serious blood pressure condition that develops during pregnancy and strains the mother’s heart. If left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, including decreased kidney and liver function and decreased blood supply to the fetus.

In addition to pre-eclampsia, the risk of gestational diabetes was also reduced in women who followed a heart-healthy diet more strictly.

This study was part of the Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: Monitoring Mothers-to-be, which enrolled 10,038 women between 2010 and 2013.Of the registered women, 7,798 JAMA network open study.

Women who were pregnant with their first child were asked to complete a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire during their first study visit during their first trimester.

The questionnaire focused on the women’s dietary habits during the three months prior to the visit and asked participants to report their typical food and drink intake. categorized into one element. Vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grains, legumes, fish, ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fat, lean and processed meat, and alcohol. diet score.

The data were compiled, analyzed and studied by researchers to show that:

  • Of the 7,798 women enrolled, 10% were 35 years of age or older, 11% were non-Hispanic black, 17% were Hispanic, and 4% were Asian.
  • Twenty percent of participants were obese at entry.
  • A higher Mediterranean diet score was associated with a 21% lower likelihood of adverse pregnancy outcomes and a 28% and 37% lower risk of pre-eclampsia/eclampsia and gestational diabetes.

“We also looked at the individual components of the Mediterranean diet and found that higher intakes of vegetables, legumes and fish were associated with a lower risk of adverse pregnancy-related outcomes.

Taken together, these findings suggest that the adoption of a Mediterranean dietary pattern among U.S. women, particularly at maternal age, may be a factor, says Christine Albert, MD, MPH, chief of cardiology, who was not involved in the study. Prevention of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes in Pregnant Women.

To date, only three observational studies, each with a small number of participants, have investigated the association between adherence to this healthy eating pattern before and after conception and the risk of developing pre-eclampsia.

“These findings indicate a growing body of evidence that a Mediterranean-style diet may play an important role in maintaining women’s health throughout their lives, including during pregnancy.

Bello noted that long-term studies are needed to assess whether promoting a Mediterranean-style diet before, during and after conception can prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes and reduce future cardiovascular risk. says there is.


Journal reference:

Macarem, N., and others Al. (2022) Association of Mediterranean diet patterns with adverse pregnancy outcomes in US women. JAMA network

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