Inflammation may adversely affect early human brain development. We aimed to assess the role of maternal nutrition and infections on cord blood inflammation. In a pregnancy cohort in Sylhet, Bangladesh, we enrolled 251 consecutive pregnancies resulting in a term livebirth from July 2016-March 2017. Stillbirths, preterm births, and cases of neonatal encephalopathy were excluded. We prospectively collected data on maternal diet (food frequency questionnaire) and morbidity, and analyzed umbilical cord blood for interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and C-reactive protein. We determined associations between nutrition and infection exposures and cord cytokine elevation (≥75% vs. <75%) using logistic regression, adjusting for confounders. One-third of mothers were underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg/m) at enrollment. Antenatal and intrapartum infections were observed among 4.8% and 15.9% of the sample, respectively. Low pregnancy intakes of B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 (folate)), fat-soluble vitamins (D, E), iron, zinc, and linoleic acid (lowest vs. middle tertile) were associated with higher risk of inflammation, particularly IL-8. There was a non-significant trend of increased risk of IL-8 and IL-6 elevation with history of ante-and intrapartum infections, respectively. In Bangladesh, improving micronutrient intake and preventing pregnancy infections are targets to reduce fetal systemic inflammation and associated adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes.
Maternal Diet, Infection, and Risk of Cord Blood Inflammation in the Bangladesh Projahnmo Pregnancy Cohort.