The effect of parity on maternal body mass index, plasma mineral element status and new-born anthropometrics
Background: Adverse pregnancy outcome is an important public health problem that has been partly associated with increasing maternal parity.
Aim: To determine the effect of parity on maternal body mass index (BMI), mineral element status and newborn anthropometrics.
Methods: Data for 349 pregnant women previously studied for the impacts of maternal plasma mineral element status on pregnancy and its outcomes was analysed. Obstetric and demographic data and 5mls of blood samples were obtained from each subject. Blood lead, plasma copper, iron and zinc were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer.
Results: Maternal BMI increases with parity. Women with parity two had significantly higher plasma zinc but lower plasma copper with comparable levels of the elements in nulliparous and higher parity groups. Although plasma iron was comparable among the groups, blood lead was significantly higher in parity > three. Newborn birth length increases with parity with a positive correlation between parity and maternal BMI (r = 0.221; p = 0.001) and newborn birth length (r = 0.170; p = 0.002) while plasma copper was negatively correlated with newborn’s head circumference (r = -0.115; p = 0.040)
Conclusion: It is plausible that parity affects maternal BMI and newborn anthropometrics through alterations in maternal plasma mineral element levels. While further studies are desired to confirm the present findings, there is need for pregnant and would-be pregnant women to diversify their diet to optimize their mineral element status.
Keywords: Maternal parity, BMI, newborn anthropometrics, mineral element status, pregnant women, Nigeria
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