Use of micronutrient supplements in pregnant women of south-east Queensland Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND:Multiple micronutrient supplement use in the Australian pregnant population is rising, despite little evidence of benefit in low-risk women. While some supplement recommendations are grounded in high-quality evidence, others warrant further investigation. This highlights a research gap regarding appropriate use of supplements during pregnancy in the Australian population. AIMS:To describe micronutrient supplement use during pregnancy in the context of current evidence and national recommendations in a population of south-east Queensland women. MATERIAL AND METHODS:A cross-sectional observational design was used to examine data gathered from pregnant women aged 16-44 years residing in south-east Queensland, Australia. Women were recruited to the study between 23 May 2016 and 30 September 2017. RESULTS:Pregnancy multivitamin use was declared by 42% of the cohort, with 26.8% declaring multivitamins in combination with individual micronutrients and 9.8% declaring specific micronutrient supplement use. Nulliparous women were more likely to declare use of supplements than their multiparous peers (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.938, 95% CI 1.053-3.571, P = 0.034); smoking (aOR 2.717, 95% CI 1.011-7.302, P = 0.047) and low socio-economic status were associated with no supplement use (aOR 2.451, 95% CI 1.010-5.949, P = 0.048). CONCLUSIONS:Current recommendations regarding micronutrient supplements throughout pregnancy are based on varying degrees of evidence, resulting in supplement advice of poor cohesion and consistency. Adherence to micronutrient supplement recommendations in the peri-conception period in this population was poor; second and third trimester supplement use was high. Contemporary empirical research is required to determine what constitutes appropriate supplementation in high-income regions and the populations they will benefit most.

publication date

  • August 2020