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J Nutr. 1999 Aug;129(8):1563-8.

Maternal zinc supplementation does not affect size at birth or pregnancy duration in Peru.

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Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


To estimate the effect of maternal zinc deficiency on pregnancy outcomes, we conducted a zinc supplementation trial in an urban shantytown in Lima, Peru, a population with habitual low zinc intakes. Beginning at 10-24 wk gestation, 1295 mothers were randomly assigned to receive prenatal supplements containing 60 mg iron and 250 (g folate, with or without 15 mg zinc. Women were followed up monthly during pregnancy. At birth, newborn weight was recorded, and crownheel length, head circumference and other circumferences and skinfold thicknesses were assessed on d 1. At delivery, 1016 remained in the study; duration of pregnancy was known for all women, and birth weight information was available for 957 newborns. No differences were noted in duration of pregnancy (39.4 +/- 2.2 vs. 39. 5 +/- 2.0 wk) or birth weight (3267 +/- 461 vs. 3300 +/- 498 g) by prenatal supplement type (iron + folate + zinc vs. iron + folate; P > 0.05), and there were no differences in the rates of preterm (<37 wk) or post-term (>42 wk) delivery, low birth weight (<2500 g) or high birth weight (>4000 g). Finally, there were no differences by prenatal supplement type in newborn head circumference, crownheel length, chest circumference, mid-upper arm circumference, calf circumference or skinfold thickness at any of three sites. Adjustment for covariates and confounding factors did not alter these results. Adding zinc to prenatal iron and folate tablets did not affect duration of pregnancy or size at birth in this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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