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BJOG. 2009 Feb;116(3):416-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.01957.x.

High maternal vitamin E intake by diet or supplements is associated with congenital heart defects in the offspring.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Division of Obstetrics and Prenatal Medicine, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study associations between maternal dietary and supplement intake of antioxidants vitamin E, retinol and congenital heart defects (CHDs).

DESIGN:

Case-control study.

SETTING:

Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

POPULATION:

Participants were 276 case mothers of a child with CHD and 324 control mothers with their children.

METHODS:

Food frequency questionnaires covering the intake of the previous 4 weeks were filled out at 16 months after the index pregnancy. Data were compared between cases and controls using the Mann-Whitney U test. Risk estimates for the association between CHD and dietary intake of vitamin E and retinol were estimated in a multivariable logistic regression model.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Medians (5-95th percentile) and odds ratios with 95% CI.

RESULTS:

Dietary vitamin E intake was higher in case mothers than in controls, 13.3 (8.1-20.4) and 12.6 (8.5-19.8) mg/day (P= 0.05). CHD risk increased with rising dietary vitamin E intakes (P-trend = 0.01). Periconception use of vitamin E supplements in addition to a high dietary vitamin E intake above 14.9 mg/day up to nine-fold increased CHD risk. Retinol intakes were not significantly different between the groups and not associated with CHD risk.

CONCLUSIONS:

High maternal vitamin E by diet and supplements is associated with an increased risk of CHD offspring.

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