Impact of prenatal multiple micronutrients on survival and growth during infancy: a randomized controlled trial

D Roberfroid, L Huybregts, H Lanou, L Ouedraogo, MC Henry, N Meda, P Kolsteren

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    BACKGROUND: Although prenatal multiple micronutrients can improve fetal growth, their benefit on postnatal health remains uncertain. OBJECTIVE: We assessed the effect of the UNICEF/WHO/United Nations University multiple micronutrient supplement for pregnant and lactating women (UNIMMAP) compared with the usual iron and folic acid supplement (IFA) on survival, growth, and morbidity during infancy. DESIGN: In a double-blind, randomized trial, we followed 1294 singleton newborns whose mothers had prenatally received either the UNIMMAP or IFA. We assessed monthly anthropometric measures and health variables up to age 12 mo. Children were assessed again at a mean age of 30 mo. Mixed-effects models accounted for repeated measurements. RESULTS: The UNIMMAP resulted in a 27% (HR: 0.73; 95% CI: 0.60, 0.87; P = 0.002) reduction in the rate of stunting in 15,261 infant-months with a higher length-for-age z score of 0.13 (95% CI: 0.02, 0.24; P = 0.02) over the whole observation period. However, by age 30 mo, this difference was not observed. An effect of the UNIMMAP on weight-for-length (P-interaction = 0.004) and head circumference-for-age (P-interaction = 0.03) became apparent by the end of the first year of life. By the age of 30 mo, children from the UNIMMAP group had a higher weight-for-height z score of 0.20 (95% CI: 0.06, 0.34; P = 0.004). No difference in mortality or morbidity was identified in groups, except a 14% reduction in reported episodes of fever (95% CI: 1%, 28%; P = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Improved linear fetal growth with continuation into early life and enhanced postnatal growth were 2 mechanisms that mediated the effect of the prenatal UNIMMAP on infant nutritional status. Additional follow-up to assess long-term effects is warranted. This trial was registered at as NCT00642408.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)916-924
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • B780-tropical-medicine
    • Nutrition status
    • Infants
    • Children
    • Pregnancy
    • Women
    • Micronutrients
    • Food composition
    • Food supplementation
    • Prenatal
    • Health impact
    • Stunting
    • Wasting
    • Mortality
    • Survival
    • Child growth
    • Randomized controlled trials
    • Anthropometry
    • Burkina Faso
    • Africa-West


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