Maternal multiple micronutrient supplementation and pregnancy outcomes in developing countries

Added March 9, 2018

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Maternal education or gestational age at initiation of supplementation may have contributed to the observed heterogeneous effects on perinatal mortality. The safety, efficacy and effective delivery of maternal micronutrient supplementation require further research.

Over twenty million infants are born with low birth weight every year, with one third of infant deaths being attributed to maternal and child undernutrition in developing countries. Micronutrient supplementation (MS) may have positive effects on these outcomes. This review aimed to assess randomized control trials testing micronutrient supplementation versus iron and folic acid supplementation on pregnancy outcomes. Seventeen trials were included in this review, assessed for methodological quality against strict criteria. Results showed MS to be more effective than iron and folic acid alone, at reducing the risk of low birth weight and small size for age. A decreased risk of perinatal mortality with MS was observed in sub group analysis in specific conditions, however, no overall effect was observed.