Excessive birth weight has serious perinatal consequences, and it “programs” long-term health. Mother’s nutritional status can be an important element in fetal “programming”; microelements such as selenium (Se), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and iron (Fe) are involved in many metabolic processes. However, there are no studies assessing the relationship of the microelements in the peri-conceptual period with the risk of excessive birth weight. We performed a nested case control study of serum microelements’ levels in the 10–14th week of pregnancy and assessed the risk of large-for-gestational age (LGA) newborns using the data from a prospective cohort of pregnant women recruited in 2015–2016 in Poznań, Poland. Mothers delivering LGA newborns (n = 66) were examined with matched mothers delivering appropriate-for-gestational age (AGA) newborns (n = 264). Microelements’ levels were quantified using mass spectrometry. The odds ratios of LGA (and 95% confidence intervals) were calculated by multivariate logistic regression. In the whole group, women with the lowest quartile of Se had a 3 times higher LGA risk compared with women in the highest Se quartile (AOR = 3.00; p
= 0.013). Importantly, the result was sustained in the subgroup of women with the normal pre-pregnancy BMI (AOR = 4.79; p
= 0.033) and in women with a male fetus (AOR = 6.28; p
= 0.004), but it was not sustained in women with a female fetus. There were no statistical associations between Zn, Cu, and Fe levels and LGA. Our study provides some preliminary evidence for the relationships between lower serum Se levels in early pregnancy and a higher risk of large-for-gestational age birth weight. Appropriate Se intake in the periconceptual period may be important for optimal fetal growth.
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