Are women with history of pre-eclampsia starting a new pregnancy in good nutritional status in South Africa and Zimbabwe?

Cormick, Gabriela ; Betran, Ana Pilar ; Harbron, Janetta ; Dannemann Purnat, Tina ; Parker, Catherine ; Hall, David ; Seuc, Armando H. ; Roberts, James M. ; Belizan, Jose M. ; Hofmeyr, G. Justus (2018-06-15)

CITATION: Cormick, G., et al. 2018. Are women with history of pre-eclampsia starting a new pregnancy in good nutritional status in South Africa and Zimbabwe?. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 18:236, doi:10.1186/s12884-018-1885-z.

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Background: Maternal nutritional status before and during pregnancy is an important contributor to pregnancy outcomes and early child health. The aim of this study was to describe the preconceptional nutritional status and dietary intake during pregnancy in high-risk women from South Africa and Zimbabwe. Methods: This is a prospective observational study, nested to the CAP trial. Anthropometric measurements before and during pregnancy and dietary intake using 24-h recall during pregnancy were assessed. The Intake Distribution Estimation software (PC-SIDE) was used to evaluate nutrient intake adequacy taking the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) as a cut-off point. Results: Three hundred twelve women who had pre-eclampsia in their last pregnancy and delivered in hospitals from South Africa and Zimbabwe were assessed. 73.7 and 60.2% women in South Africa and Zimbabwe, respectively started their pregnancy with BMI above normal (BMI ≥ 25) whereas the prevalence of underweight was virtually non-existent. The majority of women had inadequate intakes of micronutrients. Considering food and beverage intake only, none of the micronutrients measured achieved the estimated average requirement. Around 60% of pregnant women reported taking folic acid or iron supplements in South Africa, but almost none did so in Zimbabwe. Conclusion: We found a high prevalence of overweight and obesity and high micronutrient intake inadequacy in pregnant women who had the previous pregnancy complicated with pre-eclampsia. The obesity figures and micronutrient inadequacy are issues of concern that need to be addressed. Pregnant women have regular contacts with the health system; these opportunities could be used to improve diet and nutrition.

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