In addition, the risk of gestational diabetes also decreased in women who followed this heart-healthy diet more closely.
A healthy eating pattern, and particularly one based on the Mediterranean diet, is associated with a lower risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, with the case of preeclampsia being “most interesting”, where the risk is reduced by 28 percent.
This is the main finding of a US observational study of 7,798 women; The results have been published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
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Preeclampsia is a blood pressure disorder that develops during pregnancy and puts a strain on the mother’s heart. If left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, including impaired kidney and liver function and decreased blood supply to the fetus.
This multi-centre population-based study confirms that a healthy eating pattern is associated with a lower risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, with preeclampsia being “most interesting” where the risk is 28 percent lower, says lead author Natalie Bello. Huh.
For this researcher from Cedars-Sinai Hospital’s Smid Heart Institute, “It is important to note that this association between a Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes was observed in a geographically, racially and ethnically diverse population.”
The association was strongest in women of traditionally advanced maternal age, which was considered to be 35 years of age or older.
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The study also evaluated the association between the Mediterranean diet and other adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, preterm birth or stillbirth.
In addition to preeclampsia, the risk of gestational diabetes also decreased among women who more closely followed a heart-healthy diet, reports the Cedars-Sinai statement.
For this observational study, women pregnant with their first child were asked to fill out a questionnaire focused on their eating habits.
Responses were grouped into vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, legumes, fish, monounsaturated to saturated fat ratio, red and processed meats, and alcohol to calculate the Mediterranean diet score and then analyze the data.
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A high score on the Mediterranean diet was associated with 21% lower odds of any adverse pregnancy outcome, as well as a 28% and 37% lower risk of preeclampsia/eclampsia and gestational diabetes.
“We also looked at individual components of the Mediterranean diet and found that a higher intake of vegetables, legumes and fish was associated with a lower associated risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes,” Bello concluded.
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