Low fish intake linked to premature birth
A recent Danish study indicates that women who eat little or no fish during early pregnancy are more likely to give birth prematurely. Nearly 9000 women who were 16 weeks pregnant were asked to complete a questionnaire on their fish-eating habits. This eventually revealed that low birth weight and premature birth decreased with increased fish consumption.
Just over seven per cent of women who never ate fish had a premature delivery, compared with 1.9 per cent of women who ate fish at least once a week. This indicates that although very little is known about the causes of preterm birth, the mother's intake of the fatty acids found in fish may be an important factor. Premature birth of babies is associated with an increased risk of death and of developing a variety of disorders, such as lung disease. The associations between maternal diet and these problems merits further investigation.
Previous studies have found high birth weights and
relatively long pregnancies among women with a high fish intake living in the
This research is now being extended to more than 80,000
Summary based on an article in the British Medical Journal Vol 324, p 447, 2002