BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Prenatal lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) have been shown to improve birth anthropometry. However, little is known about the effects of such supplements on infant health. We hypothesized that prenatal LNS compared with multiple micronutrient supplement for pregnant and lactating women would improve survival, growth, and morbidity during infancy.
METHODS: Infants' weight, length, head, chest, and mid-upper arm circumferences were measured during monthly home visits from birth to 12 months of age in the Micronutriments et Santé de la Mère et de l'Enfant--2 trial. Differences in stunting and wasting episodes between study arms were assessed by Cox regression for recurrent event models. Morbidity signs during the 2 weeks before the visits and death cases were also assessed by multilevel analysis accounting for repeated individual measurements.
RESULTS: Infant length-for-age growth (-0.033 z score/month; 95% confidence interval: -0.601 to -0.006; P = .018) for the LNS group was inferior to that of the control group. We did not find evidence of significant difference in mortality or morbidity between groups.
CONCLUSIONS: The previously reported positive effect of prenatal LNS on birth length was not sustained during the postnatal phase. Prenatal LNS does not appear to make a long-lasting difference in child linear growth.