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n-3 PUFAs Do Not Lower Risk for Early Preterm Delivery

Maternal supplementation with n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids did not lower risk

THURSDAY, Sept. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Supplementation with n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids during pregnancy does not result in a lower incidence of early preterm delivery, according to a study published in the Sept. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Maria Makrides, Ph.D., from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in Adelaide, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial in which women who were pregnant with single or multiple fetuses were randomly assigned to receive either fish oil capsules containing 900 mg of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 group) or vegetable oil capsules that contained a trace of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (control group).

The researchers found that preterm delivery occurred in 2.2 percent of 2,734 pregnancies in the n-3 group and in 2.0 percent of 2,752 pregnancies in the control group (adjusted relative risk, 1.13; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.79 to 1.63; P = 0.50). The incidence of intervention in postterm deliveries, adverse events, or in other pregnancy or neonatal outcomes did not differ significantly between the groups, except that the percentage of infants who were large-for-gestational age at birth was higher in the n-3 group than in the control group (adjusted relative risk, 1.30; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.65). No significant difference was noted between the groups in the percentages of serious adverse events.

“n-3 supplementation in pregnancy did not result in a lower risk of early preterm delivery than control,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries; one author holds a patent relating to an analysis of fatty acids in a biological sample.

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