Periconceptional use of weight loss products including ephedra and the association with birth defects
ABSTRACT : Weight loss products are frequently used by reproductive-aged women and these products may be taken (inadvertently or intentionally) during pregnancy. This study assessed the association between periconceptional use of weight loss products and major structural birth defects.
: Mothers of infants with birth defects (case infants) and a random sample of livebirths (control infants) born during the period 1998-2003 in 10 states participated in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Adjusted ORs (aORs) for the association between self-reported use of weight loss products and 23 categories of birth defects were calculated.
: Mothers of control infants (2.4%) and 2.6% of mothers of case infants reported periconceptional use of weight loss products; 1.2% of mothers of control infants and 1.3% of mothers of case infants reported using an ephedra-containing product. Use of any weight loss product was associated with anencephaly (aOR 2.6; 95% CI: 1.3-5.3), dextro-transposition of the great arteries (aOR 2.1; 95% CI: 1.1-4.3), and aortic stenosis (aOR 3.4; 95% CI: 1.5-7.9). Use of products containing ephedra showed an increased aOR with anencephaly (aOR 2.8; 95% CI: 1.0-7.3), while other weight loss products were associated with dextro-transposition of the great arteries (aOR 1.8; 95% CI: 1.2-2.7), and aortic stenosis (aOR 2.1; 95% CI: 1.3-3.5).
: These results suggest an association between periconceptional use of weight loss products and certain birth defects but the possible mechanism is not clear. This is the first finding of such an association and, because we examined a large number of exposure-outcome associations in a hypothesis-generating analysis, these results might have been due to chance.
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ABSTRACT: The prevalence of overweight and obesity in women has increased during the last decades. This is a serious concern since a high BMI before conception is an independent risk factor for many adverse outcomes of pregnancy. Therefore, dietary counseling, intended to stimulate weight loss in overweight and obese women prior to conception has recently been recommended. However, dieting with the purpose to lose weight may involve health risks for mother and offspring. We conducted a systematic literature review to identify papers investigating the effects of weight loss due to dietary interventions before conception. The objective of this study is to assess the effect of weight loss prior to conception in overweight or obese women on a number of health-related outcomes in mother and offspring using studies published between January 2000 and December 2011. Our first literature search produced 486 citations and, based on predefined eligibility criteria, 58 were selected and ordered in full text. Two group members read each paper. Fifteen studies were selected for quality assessment and two of them were considered appropriate for inclusion in evidence tables. A complementary search identified 168 citations with four papers being ordered in full text. The two selected studies provided data for overweight and obese women. One showed a positive effect of weight loss before pregnancy on the risk of gestational diabetes and one demonstrated a reduced risk for large-for-gestational-age infants in women with a BMI above 25 who lost weight before pregnancy. No study investigated the effect of weight loss due to a dietary intervention before conception. There is a lack of studies on overweight and obese women investigating the effect of dietary-induced weight loss prior to conception on health-related variables in mother and offspring. Such studies are probably lacking since they are difficult to conduct. Therefore, alternative strategies to control the body weight of girls and women of reproductive age are needed.Food & Nutrition Research 03/2013; 57. DOI:10.3402/fnr.v57i0.20522 · 1.79 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Transient exposures may influence fertility and early embryonic development. To assess the time of conception in vivo and conduct concurrent biomonitoring, ovulation must be identified prospectively. We report on the development and validation of a simple, prospective method, the Peak Day method, to determine likely day of ovulation based upon daily observations of cervical fluid. We recruited 98 women to learn the Peak Day method from a brochure, 26 of whom concurrently used the method with blinded daily urine hormone monitoring (estrone glucuronide and luteinizing hormone). All women were instructed to complete an exposure questionnaire immediately upon identifying ovulation. Briefly, the exposure questionnaire captured time-varying and transient exposures such as medication use, water consumption, and amount of sleep. We assessed timely completion of the exposure questionnaire, agreement of women's estimated day of ovulation (EDO) and the EDO by expert review, and agreement between the EDO by expert review and by blinded urine monitoring. Of 147 cycles evaluated, women selected an EDO in 130 (88%) and subsequently completed the periovulatory exposure questionnaire in 122 (94%) cycles. Of the 26 cycles evaluated with blinded hormonal monitoring, the Peak Day "best quality" algorithm, based upon cervical fluid, identified ovulation +/- 3 days of the urine monitor in 24 cycles (92%). With simple written instructions, women can identify an estimated day of ovulation and perform periovulatory exposure assessment. The Peak Day method is highly cost-effective and could be applied by researchers to target periconceptional or very early developmental stage exposure assessment.BMC Women's Health 01/2014; 14(1):4. DOI:10.1186/1472-6874-14-4 · 1.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A large proportion of women around the world suffer from chronic diseases including mental health diseases. In the United States alone, over 12% of women of reproductive age suffer from a chronic medical condition, especially diabetes and hypertension. Chronic diseases significantly increase the odds for poor maternal and newborn outcomes in pregnant women. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence was conducted to ascertain the possible impact of preconception care for preventing and managing chronic diseases and promoting psychological health on maternal, newborn and child health outcomes. A comprehensive strategy was used to search electronic reference libraries, and both observational and clinical controlled trials were included. Cross-referencing and a separate search strategy for each preconception risk and intervention ensured wider study capture. Maternal prepregnancy diabetic care is a significant intervention that reduces the occurrence of congenital malformations by 70% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 59-78%) and perinatal mortality by 69% (95% CI: 47-81%). Furthermore, preconception management of epilepsy and phenylketonuria are essential and can optimize maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes if given before conception. Ideally changes in antiepileptic drug therapy should be made at least 6 months before planned conception. Interventions specifically targeting women of reproductive age suffering from a psychiatric condition show that group-counseling and interventions leading to empowerment of women have reported non-significant reduction in depression (economic skill building: Mean Difference (MD) -7.53; 95% CI: -17.24, 2.18; counseling: MD-2.92; 95% CI: -13.17, 7.33). While prevention and management of the chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension, through counseling, and other dietary and pharmacological intervention, is important, delivering solutions to prevent and respond to women's psychological health problems are urgently needed to combat this leading cause of morbidity.Reproductive Health 09/2014; 11 Suppl 3:S5. DOI:10.1186/1742-4755-11-S3-S5 · 1.62 Impact Factor