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Database - Alliance francophone pour l'accouchement respecté (AFAR)

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Created on : 19 Feb 2008
Modified on : 19 Feb 2008

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Bibliographical entry (without author) :

Does Fish Consumption during Pregnancy Increase Fetal Growth?: A Study of the Size of the Newborn, Placental Weight and Gestational Age in Relation to Fish Consumption during Pregnancy Int. J. Epidemiol., December 1990; 19: 971 - 977

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This study investigates whether consumption of fish during pregnancy may prolong gestation or increase fetal growth. From 1984 to 1987, 11 980 pregnant Danish women filled out a questionnaire while they were in the 36th week of gestation; this was 83% of all such women living in two geographically defined areas. The women were divided into four strata dependent on having consumed a fish meal 0, 1–2, 3–4, or 5+ times during the previous month. In nonsmokers, a one level increase in fish consumption was, after adjusting for 19 other variables in a multiple regression model, found to be associated with an increase of 11 g in placental weight, 0.08 cm in head circumference and 16 g in birthweight (95% confidence intervals (CI) 5 to 17 g (p=0.0002), 0.02 to 0.14 cm (p=0.02), and –2 to 34 g (p=0.09), respectively); no associations with birth length or gestational age could be detected (95% CI –0.07 to 0.11 cm (p=0.7) and –0.82 to 0.05 days (p=0.2), respectively, per level change in fish consumption). None of the associations seen in non-smokers were seen in smokers. We postulate that the associations seen in non-smokers could be due to marine n-3 fatty acids improving placental blood flow by increasing the ratio of prostacyclins to thromboxane. Smoking may possibly interfere with this mechanism via nicotine’s inhibitory effect on platelet thromboxane production.

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➡ diet/nutrition ; maternal weight

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Emmanuelle Phan — 19 Feb 2008

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