Food and Behaviour Research

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Fish intake during pregnancy, fetal growth, and gestational length in 19 European birth cohort studies

Leventakou V1, Roumeliotaki T, Martinez D, Barros H, Brantsaeter AL, Casas M, Charles MA, Cordier S, Eggesbø M, van Eijsden M, Forastiere F, Gehring U, Govarts E, Halldórsson TI, Hanke W, Haugen M, Heppe DH, Heude B, Inskip HM, Jaddoe VW, Jansen M, Kelleher C, Meltzer HM, Merletti F, Moltó-Puigmartí C, Mommers M, Murcia M, Oliveira A, Olsen SF, Pele F, Polanska K, Porta D, Richiardi L, Robinson SM, Stigum H, Strøm M, Sunyer J, Thijs C, Viljoen K, Vrijkotte TG, Wijga AH, Kogevinas M, Vrijheid M, Chatzi L (2013) Am J Clin Nutr.  99(3): 506-16. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.067421. Epub 2013 Dec 11. 

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Fish is a rich source of essential nutrients for fetal development, but in contrast, it is also a well-known route of exposure to environmental pollutants.




We assessed whether fish intake during pregnancy is associated with fetal growth and the length of gestation in a panel of European birth cohort studies.




The study sample of 151,880 mother-child pairs was derived from 19 population-based European birth cohort studies. Individual data from cohorts were pooled and harmonized. Adjusted cohort-specific effect estimates were combined by using a random- and fixed-effects meta-analysis.




Women who ate fish >1 time/wk during pregnancy had lower risk of preterm birth than did women who rarely ate fish (≤1 time/wk); the adjusted RR of fish intake >1 but 1 but




This large, international study indicates that moderate fish intake during pregnancy is associated with lower risk of preterm birth and a small but significant increase in birth weight.




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