Role of maternal preconception nutrition on offspring growth and risk of stunting across the first 1000 days in Vietnam: A prospective cohort study.
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Growing evidence supports the role of preconception maternal nutritional status (PMNS) on birth outcomes; however, evidence of relationships with child growth are limited. We examined associations between PMNS (height, weight and body mass index- BMI) and offspring growth during the first 1000 days. We used prospective cohort data from a randomized-controlled trial of preconception micronutrient supplementation in Vietnam, PRECONCEPT (n = 1409). Poisson regression models were used to examine associations between PMNS and risk of offspring stunting (<-2 HAZ) at 2 years. We used path analytic models to examine associations with PMNS on fetal growth (ultrasound measurements) and offspring HAZ at birth and 2 years. All models were adjusted for child age, sex, gestational weight gain, education, socioeconomic status and treatment group. A third of women had a preconception height < 150cm or weight < 43 kg. Women with preconception height < 150 cm or a weight < 43 kg were at increased risk of having a stunted child at 2 years (incident risk ratio IRR: 1.85, 95% CI 1.51-2.28; IRR 1.35, 95% CI 1.10-1.65, respectively). While the traditional low BMI cut-off (< 18.5 kg/m 2 ) was not significant, lower BMI cut-offs (< 17.5 kg/m(2) or < 18.0 kg/m(2)) were significantly associated with 1.3 times increased risk of child stunting. In path models, PMNS were positively associated with fetal growth (ultrasound measurements) and offspring HAZ at birth and 2 years. For each 1 standard deviation (SD) increase in maternal height and weight, offspring HAZ at 2 years increased by 0.30 SD and 0.23 SD, respectively. In conclusion, PMNS influences both offspring linear growth and risk of stunting across the first 1000 days. These findings underscore the importance of expanding the scope of current policies and strategies to include the preconception period in order to reduce child stunting.
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