Maternal and child health and nutrition: Week 1 of the PLOS Medicine Special Issue

August 06, 2019

This week, we see the publication of the first papers in PLOS Medicine's special issue on nutrition in maternal and child health, advised by Guest Editors Dr. Lars Åke Persson of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and based at the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa; Dr. Kathleen M. Rasmussen of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; and Dr. Huixia Yang of Peking University First Hospital and the Chinese Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

In many parts of the world maternal and child health outcomes are increasingly impacted by indirect causes, many of which are related to nutrition. Women with diabetes, anemia or who are overweight are at a higher risk of childbirth-related complications. Their newborns, in turn, are also at a higher risk of experiencing adverse health outcomes later in life. With nearly one in three persons in the world suffering from at least one form of malnutrition - from undernutrition to obesity via diet-related non-communicable diseases - and infant nutrition being crucial particularly in the first 1,000 days of life, this Special Issue will focus on these topics with impactful research content.

In a Research article, Jane L Tarry-Adkins and colleagues reveal that babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes who are treated with metformin are likely to be of a lower birthweight than babies whose mothers are treated with insulin. Significantly, the children exposed to metformin are heavier than the insulin-exposed children at 18-24 months. Knowing that there is an increased risk of CVD and diabetes for children who undergo 'catch up' growth, it will be important to understand if these risks apply to children exposed to metformin.

Sophie E Moore and colleagues present the results of their trial to test whether nutritional supplements for pregnant women in a rural region of The Gambia improve a child's immune response. 875 women were randomised to receive one of 4 supplements: standard care of iron and folic acid (FeFol); FeFol plus multiple micronutrients; FeFol plus protein-energy; or FeFol plus protein-energy and micronutrients. Infants were vaccinated at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age with the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine and those whose mothers had received the combined FeFol, micronutrient and protein-energy supplement showed improved vaccine responses. This is a striking example of how a mother's nutritional status can impact a child beyond pregnancy and any immediate birth outcomes.

With much focus recently on complications occurring from obesity during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes - and the subsequent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes - as well as increased risk of adiposity in children, there is increased awareness of the need for a healthy BMI at the start of pregnancy. Zainab Akhter and colleagues, in their systematic review and meta-analysis, reveal the increased risk of having a smaller size for gestational age baby and increased risk of preterm birth for mothers who have bariatric surgery prior to pregnancy. These findings indicate the need for additional nutritional support before conception and during pregnancy, and increased monitoring throughout pregnancy.

The issue will continue over the coming weeks with further research papers - to view the papers, visit our Special Issue Collection.
-end-
Research Article - Tarry-Adkins et al

Funding:

JLA and SEO are funded by the British Heart Foundation (https://www.bhf.org.uk/) (RG/17/12/33167) and the Medical Research Council (MC_ UU_12012/4) (https://mrc.ukri.org/). CEA is supported by a grant from the Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (ACT) (https://www.act4addenbrookes.org.uk/) and by an Isaac Newton Trust/Wellcome Trust ISSF/University of Cambridge Joint Research Grant (https://www.newtontrust.cam.ac.uk/). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests:

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation:

Tarry-Adkins JL, Aiken CE, Ozanne SE (2019) Neonatal, infant, and childhood growth following metformin versus insulin treatment for gestational diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med 16(8): e1002848. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002848

Image Credit: Skitterphoto, Pixabay

Author Affiliations:

Metabolic Research Laboratories and MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit, Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Rosie Hospital and NIHR Cambridge Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002848

Research Article - Moore et al

Funding:

This research was jointly funded by the UK Medical Research Council (http://www.mrc.ac.uk) and the Department for International Development (DFID) under the MRC/DFID Concordat agreement (MRC Programme MC-A760-5QX00, awarded to AMP). The sponsors of the study had no role in the study design, collection, analysis and interpretation of the data, and writing of the manuscript.

Competing Interests:

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation:

Okala SG, Darboe MK, Sosseh F, Sonko B, Faye-Joof T, Prentice AM, et al. (2019) Impact of nutritional supplementation during pregnancy on antibody responses to diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccination in infants: A randomised trial in The Gambia. PLoS Med 16(8): e1002854. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002854

Author Affiliations:

Kings' College London, Department of Women and Children's Health, St Thomas' Hospital, London, United Kingdom

MRC Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Banjul, The Gambia

In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002854

Research Article - Akhter et al.

Funding:

This study was conducted as part of a Newcastle University Research Excellence Academy PhD Studentship received by ZA (https://www.ncl.ac.uk/). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests:

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation:

Akhter Z, Rankin J, Ceulemans D, Ngongalah L, Ackroyd R, Devlieger R, et al. (2019) Pregnancy after bariatric surgery and adverse perinatal outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med 16(8): e1002866. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002866

Author Affiliations:

Institute of Health & Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Department of Surgery, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield, United Kingdom

Institute of Health Sciences Research, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom

In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002866

PLOS

Related Science Articles from Brightsurf:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.

Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.

Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.

World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.

PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.

Read More: Science News and Science Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.