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Type: Journal article
Title: Plasma long-chain omega-3 fatty acid status and risk of recurrent early spontaneous preterm birth: a prospective observational study
Author: Goodfellow, L.
Care, A.
Harrold, J.
Sharp, A.
Ivandic, J.
Poljak, B.
Roberts, D.
Alfirevic, A.
Müller-Myhsok, B.
Gibson, R.
Makrides, M.
Alfirevic, Z.
Citation: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 2021; 100(8):1-11
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 0001-6349
Statement of
Laura Goodfellow, Angharad Care, Jane Harrold, Andrew Sharp, Jelena Ivandic, Borna Poljak ... et al.
Abstract: Introduction A 2018 Cochrane review found that omega-3 supplementation in pregnancy was associated with a risk reduction of early preterm birth of 0.58; prompting calls for universal supplementation. Recent analysis suggests the benefit may be confined to women with a low baseline omega-3 fatty acid status, however the contemporary UK pregnant omega-3 fatty acid status is largely unknown. This is particularly pertinent for women with a previous preterm birth, in whom a small relative risk reduction would have a larger reduction of absolute risk. This study aimed to assess the omega-3 fatty acid status of a UK pregnant population and determine the association between the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and recurrent spontaneous early preterm birth. Material and methods A total of 283 high-risk women with previous early preterm birth were recruited to the prospective obstervational study in Liverpool, UK. Additionally, 96 pregnant women with previous term births and birth ≥39⁺⁰ weeks in the index pregnancy provided a low-risk population sample. Within the high-risk group we assessed the odds ratio of recurrent early preterm birth compared to birth at ≥37⁺⁰ weeks gestation according to plasma eicosapentaenoic acid plus docosahexaenoic acid (EPA+DHA) at 15-22 weeks gestation.  RESULTS: Our participants had low EPA+DHA; 62% (143/229) of women with previous preterm birth and 69% (68/96) of the population sample had levels within the lowest two quintiles of a previously published pregnancy cohort. We found no association between long-chain omega-3 status and recurrent early preterm birth (n=51). The crude odds ratio of a recurrent event was 0.91 (95% CI 0.38 to 2.15, p=0.83) for women in the lowest, compared to the highest three quintiles of EPA+DHA. Conclusions In the majority of our participants levels of long-chain omega-3 were low; within the range that may benefit from supplementation. However, levels showed no association with risk of recurrent early spontaneous preterm birth. This could be because our population levels were too low to show benefit in being omega-3 'replete'; or else omega-3 levels may be of lesser importance in recurrent early preterm birth.
Keywords: Preterm birth
docosahexaenoic acid
eicosapentaenoic acid
long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids
Rights: © 2021 The Authors. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology (NFOG) This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.1111/aogs.14147
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Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications

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