A longitudinal study of pre-pregnancy antioxidant levels and subsequent perinatal outcomes in black and white women: The CARDIA study

Academic Article


  • Background Although protective associations between dietary antioxidants and pregnancy outcomes have been reported, randomized controlled trials of supplementation have been almost uniformly negative. A possible explanation is that supplementation during pregnancy may be too late to have a beneficial effect. Therefore, we examined the relationship between antioxidant levels prior to pregnancy and birth outcomes. Methods and findings Serum carotenoids and tocopherols were assayed in fasting specimens at 1985–86 (baseline) and 1992–1993 (year 7) from 1,215 participants in Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. An interviewer-administered quantitative food-frequency questionnaire assessed dietary intake of antioxidants. Pregnancy outcome was self-reported at exams every 2 to 5 years. Linear and logistic regression modeling was used to assess relationships of low birthweight (LBW; <2,500 g), continuous infant birthweight, preterm birth (PTB; <37 weeks) and length of gestation with antioxidant levels adjusted for confounders, as well as interactions with age and race. Results In adjusted models, lycopene was associated with higher odds of LBW (adjusted odds ratio for top quartile, 2.15, 95% confidence interval 1.14, 3.92) and shorter gestational age (adjusted beta coefficient -0.50 weeks). Dietary intake of antioxidants was associated with lower birthweight, while supplement use of vitamin C was associated with higher gestational age (0.41 weeks, 0.01, 0.81). Conclusions Higher preconception antioxidant levels are not associated with better birth outcomes.
  • Published In

  • PLoS One  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Harville EW; Lewis CE; Catov JM; Jacobs DR; Gross MD; Gunderson EP
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 2