Oxidative stress during early pregnancy and birth outcomes
Routine high-dose Fe supplementation in non-anaemic pregnant women may induce oxidative stress and eventually affect birth outcomes. The aim of the present study was to measure oxidative stress markers in pregnant women with low/normal and high Hb values in trimester 1 (Hb1) and to relate these to birth weight.
A cross-sectional study where selected oxidative stress markers were analysed in both maternal (trimester 1; T1) and cord blood samples and correlated with birth weight.
A tertiary hospital in urban South India.
One hundred women were chosen based on their Hb1 values (forty women with low/normal Hb1 (<110 g/l) and sixty women with high Hb1 (≥120 g/l)).
In T1, women with high Hb1 values were found to have lower paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) activity (424·7 (sd 163·7) v. 532·9 (sd 144·7) pmol p-nitrophenol formed/min per ml plasma, P=0·002) and higher lipid peroxides compared with women with low/normal Hb1. Routine supplementation of Fe to these women resulted in persistent lower PON-1 activity in cord blood (P=0·02) and directionally lower (P=0·142) birth weights. Furthermore, women with high Hb1 who delivered low-birth-weight babies were observed to have lowest PON-1 activity in T1. No changes were observed in other markers (myeloperoxidase activity and total antioxidant levels).
Routine Fe supplementation in pregnant women with high Hb1 associated with increased oxidative stress, as reflected by low PON-1 activity in T1, could potentially lead to deleterious effects on birth weight.