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New Pregnancy Findings from Harvard University Described (Maternal Prepregnancy Folate Intake and Risk of Spontaneous Abortion and Stillbirth)

Women's Health Weekly


By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Women's Health Weekly -- Current study results on Women's Health have been published. According to news reporting from Boston, Massachusetts, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "To evaluate prospectively the relationship between prepregnancy folate intake and risk of spontaneous abortion and stillbirth. Women in the Nurses' Health Study II who self-reported a pregnancy between 1992 and 2009 were included in this analysis."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Harvard University, "Dietary folate and supplement use was assessed every 4 years, starting in 1991, by a food frequency questionnaire. Pregnancies were self-reported with case pregnancies lost spontaneously (spontaneous abortion less than 20 weeks of gestation and stillbirth 20+ weeks of gestation) and comparison pregnancies ending in ectopic pregnancy, induced abortion, or live birth. Among the 11,072 women, 15,950 pregnancies were reported of which 2,756 (17.3%) ended in spontaneous abortion and 120 (0.8%) ended in stillbirth. Compared with women in the lowest quintile of prepregnancy folate intake (less than 285 micrograms/d), those in the highest quintile (greater than 851 micrograms/d) had a relative risk of spontaneous abortion of 0.91 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.82-1.02) after multivariable adjustment (P trend=.04). This association was primarily attributable to intake of folate from supplements. Compared with women without supplemental folate intake (0 micrograms/d), those in the highest category (greater than 730 micrograms/d) had a relative risk of spontaneous abortion of 0.80 (95% CI 0.71-0.90) after multivariable adjustment (P trend <.001). The association of prepregnancy supplemental folate with risk of spontaneous abortion was consistent across gestational period of loss. A similar inverse trend was observed with the risk of stillbirth, which fell short of conventional significance (P trend=.06). Higher intake of folate from supplements was associated with reduced risk of spontaneous abortion."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Women at risk of pregnancy should use supplemental folate for neural tube defect prevention and because it may decrease the risk of spontaneous abortion."

For more information on this research see: Maternal Prepregnancy Folate Intake and Risk of Spontaneous Abortion and Stillbirth. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2014;124(1):23-31. Obstetrics and Gynecology can be contacted at: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 530 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3621, USA. (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins -; Obstetrics and Gynecology -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting A.J. Gaskins, Harvard University, Sch Med, Boston, MA 02115, United States. Additional authors for this research include J.W. Rich-Edwards, R. Hauser, P.L. Williams, M.W. Gillman, E.S. Ginsburg, S.A. Missmer and J.E. Chavarro (see also Women's Health).

Keywords for this news article include: Boston, Pregnancy, Obstetrics, Massachusetts, United States, Women's Health, North and Central America

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