Effect of Maternal Nutrition and Dietary Habits on Preeclampsia: A Case-Control Study


Introduction: Preeclampsia is one of the most commonly encountered hypertensive disorders of pregnancy that accounts for 20% - 80% of maternal mortality in developing countries, including Ethiopia. For many years diet has been suggested to play a role in preeclampsia. However, the hypotheses have been diverse and often revealed inconsistent results across studies. Moreover, rarely were these hypotheses studied in Ethiopia. Therefore, this study aimed to explore whether the incidence of preeclampsia was related to nutrient or micronutrient deficiencies. Objectives: To describe the effect of nutrition and dietary habits on the incidence of preeclampsia. Methods: A facility based unmatched case-control study was conducted among 453 (151 cases and 302 controls) pregnant women attending antepartum or intrapartum care in public health facilities of Bahir Dar City Administration. Case-control incidence density sampling followed by interviewer administered face to face interview, measurement of mid-arm circumference (MUAC) and document review were conducted using a standardized and pretested questionnaire. Data entry and cleaning was done by Epi Info Version 3.5.3. The data were transported to SPSS Version 20 for analysis. Both bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were applied. Backward stepwise unconditional logistic regression analysis was employed to determine the putative association of predictive variables with the outcome variable and to control for the effect of confounding variables. A P-value ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant at 95% confidence level throughout the study. Result: Those women having a MUAC value ≥ 25.6 cm were two times more likely than their counterparts to have preeclampsia (AOR = 2.49, 95% CI = 1.58, 3.94). Strikingly, higher odds of preeclampsia were found in women who reported to have taken coffee during pregnancy (AOR = 2.16, 95% CI = 1.32, 3.53). Similarly, those women who had anemia during the first trimester pregnancy were three times more likely than their counterparts to have incidence of preeclampsia (AOR = 2.80, 95% CI = 1.09, 7.21). The result in this study also revealed that taking fruit or vegetables during pregnancy was found to be protective of preeclampsia (AOR = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.19, 0.73, AOR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.22, 0.91) respectively. In addition, folate intake during pregnancy has shown a significant independent effect on the prevention of preeclampsia in this study (AOR = 0.19, 95% CI = 0.10, 0.37). Conclusion and Recommendation: Vegetable and fruit consumption and folate intake during pregnancy are independent protective factors of preeclampsia. On the other hand, higher mid upper arm circumference, anemia and coffee intake during pregnancy are risk factors for the development of preeclampsia.

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Endeshaw, M. , Ambaw, F. , Aragaw, A. and Ayalew, A. (2014) Effect of Maternal Nutrition and Dietary Habits on Preeclampsia: A Case-Control Study. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 5, 1405-1416. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2014.521179.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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