Parity‑related Changes in Body Weight May Influence the Zinc and Copper Status of Urban Pregnant Women: A Report from South Eastern Nigeria
Background: Micronutrient replacement is done indiscriminately, without recourse to peculiar socioeconomic and sociodemographic variables. Particularly, the relationship between parity, body weight, and some micronutrients has received minimal attention in Nigeria.
Aim: To determine the relationship between parity, body weight, and some micronutrients during pregnancy.
Subjects and Methods: This is a cross‑sectional study involving 130 pregnant women and 30 nonpregnant control. They were recruited from two health care facilities in Nigeria and grouped into nulliparous and multiparous. After a 24‑h dietary recall, the weight (W) and height (H) were measured. The body mass index (BMI) (W in kg/H in m2) was calculated. Serum copper and zinc were estimated using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer.
Results: Multiparous nonpregnant subjects parity=3.0 (0.58) had higher weight (P=0.037) and BMI (P=0.035) than their nulliparous counterparts (parity=0). In addition, there were no significant difference in Cu and zinc levels between the two groups (P=0.243 and 0.402, respectively). Expectedly, weight and BMI increased as pregnancy progressed. There was no significant difference in Cu levels between the three trimesters in the nulliparous pregnant and multiparous pregnant subjects. In the pregnant nulliparous subjects, the Zn levels of the 2nd and 3rd trimesters were significantly lower than that of the nonpregnant nulliparous subjects (P<0.001 and 0.039, respectively). However, in multiparous pregnant subjects, only the 3rd trimester Zn level was significantly lower than that of the nonpregnant controls (P=0.017).
Conclusion: Pregnancy weight gain is more pronounced in multiparous than nulliparous women. This parity‑related pattern only affects the serum zinc levels, a situation that should be taken into consideration when formulating policies for nutritional replacement.
Keywords: Africa, body mass index, copper, parity, pregnancy, zinc