Journal Article

Association of Fish and Fish Liver Oil Intake in Pregnancy with Infant Size at Birth among Women of Normal Weight before Pregnancy in a Fishing Community

Inga Thorsdottir, Bryndis E. Birgisdottir, Sveinbjorg Halldorsdottir and Reynir T. Geirsson

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 160, issue 5, pages 460-465
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwh239
Association of Fish and Fish Liver Oil Intake in Pregnancy with Infant Size at Birth among Women of Normal Weight before Pregnancy in a Fishing Community

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This 1998 study investigated the association between intake of fish and fish oil during pregnancy and full-term infants’ size at birth in an Icelandic fishing community. Healthy women aged 20–40 years of normal weight before pregnancy (body mass index: 19.5–25.5 kg/m2) and at 38–43 weeks of gestation were selected randomly. Information on infant size at birth was collected from maternity records. Intake of fish and fish oil in pregnancy was ascertained (n = 491, 80.1%) by using a validated, focused, food frequency questionnaire. Infants of women in the lowest quartile of fish consumption weighed less (p = 0.036), were shorter (p < 0.001), and had a smaller head circumference (p < 0.001) at birth than those of women consuming higher amounts of fish. Infants of women in the highest quartile of fish oil intake (≥1 tablespoon (11 ml)/day), consuming threefold the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin A and twofold that of vitamin D, were shorter (p = 0.036) and had a smaller head circumference (p = 0.003) than those of women consuming less. Infant size at birth increased with fish consumption, especially for women in the lower quartiles of consumption. Smaller birth size was linked to the highest levels of fish oil intake. Constituents of fish and fish oil might affect birth size differently depending on the amount consumed.

Keywords: birth weight; body constitution; dietary supplements; fish oils; fishes; infant; nutrition; pregnancy

Journal Article.  4582 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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