Adolescent pregnancy and nutrition: a subgroup analysis from the Mamachiponde study in Malawi

Alyssa Friebert, Meghan Callaghan-Gillespie, Peggy C. Papathakis, Mark J. Manary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Young age at childbearing (≤19 years) is common and associated with poor birth outcomes. A trial among Malawian pregnant women with moderate malnutrition was used to determine outcomes of young adolescents (≤18 years), older adolescents (18–20 years), and adults (>20 years). Women received one of three supplementary foods that provided ∼900 kcal/day and 33–36 g protein/day and returned every 2 weeks. Newborn/maternal measurements were taken at delivery and after 6 and 12 weeks. Upon enrollment, adolescents had greater body mass index than adults (19.9 ± 1.3 versus 19.5 ± 1.4 kg/m2, P < 0.001). Young adolescents received more rations of food and enrolled and delivered with a lower fundal height than adults (21.7 ± 5.2 versus 23.0 ± 5.6, P = 0.00 enrollment; 30.2 ± 3.1 versus 31.0 ± 2.8, P < 0.001 delivery). Among newborns, length for age was lowest in young adolescents, greater in older adolescents, and greatest in adults (Z-scores –1.7 ± 1.2, –1.4 ± 1.2, and –1.1 ± 1.1, respectively; P < 0.001). These differences persisted in length for age at 6 and 12 weeks of age for infants. Adolescents enrolled earlier in pregnancy and appeared more nutritionally adequate than adults; adolescent outcomes were inferior to those of adults, suggesting that they were subject to more physiologic stressors and/or different nutritional needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume1416
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Malawi
  • RUSF
  • adolescent pregnancy
  • dietary supplementation
  • maternal malnutrition
  • pregnancy

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