MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Linda Englund-Ögge
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Institute of Clinical Sciences
Sahlgrenska Academy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Answer: Women adhering to a prudent* or a traditional** dietary pattern during pregnancy had a significantly reduced risk of preterm delivery, even after adjusting for a range of confounders. The prudent pattern was also significantly associated to lower risk in the nulliparous, in spontaneous and in late preterm delivery.
*, characterized by high intake of e.g. vegetables, fruit, whole grains and water to drink.
**, characterized by high intake of e.g. boiled potatoes, fish and cooked vegetables.
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Answer: A healthy diet is important to pregnant women, in many aspects but it is not yet establish if diet can modify the risk of preterm delivery. We believe this study adds facts that diet actually matters when it comes to preterm delivery.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Answer: We think that it is important for doctors, midwives and others who work with pregnant women to pay more attention to dietary counseling and discuss the importance of diet in pregnancy, since prevention of preterm delivery is of major importance. It also seems more important to increase the intake of “healthy” food than totally avoiding intake of “unhealthy” food.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Answer: These foods might warrant further investigation and could be studied in more detail, example in the form of a randomized controlled trial. As this is an observational study, conclusions about causality cannot be drawn. But is could be important to reproduce this study in another cohort.
Linda Englund-Ögge, Bo Jacobsson et al. Maternal dietary patterns and preterm delivery: results from large prospective cohort study. BMJ, March 2014 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g1446