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Healthy Diet Before Pregnancy: Good for Baby’s Heart?

Better maternal diet in the year prior to conception was associated with lower risk of serious congenital heart defects, according to the results of a large retrospective case-control analysis using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.

In adjusted analyses, Lorenzo D. Botto, MD, of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues found a reduced risk of all conotruncal defects (aOR 0.76, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.91), as well as a 37% reduced risk in tetralogy of Fallot (aOR 0.63, CI 0.49 to 0.80) associated with the highest quartile of Diet Quality Index for pregnancy (DQI-P).

The authors also observed diet quality was associated with a slightly lower risk of overall septal defects (aOR 0.86, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.00), including atrial septal defects (aOR 0.77, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.94). They published their results in Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and Neonatal Edition.

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