This study investigated the associations between maternal adherence to a healthy diet, first trimester placental markers, and pregnancy outcome. Singleton spontaneous pregnancies were enrolled at 11+0
gestational weeks in a prospective cohort study. A nutritional score (0–10) measuring the adherence to a healthy diet was calculated. A transabdominal ultrasound scan for placental marker assessment was performed (uterine artery (UtA) doppler, placental volume). Biochemical placental markers were recorded (Pregnancy Associated Plasma Protein A (PAPP-A), free β- Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)). Birth outcomes were obtained from medical records. Associations between the maternal nutritional score, first trimester placental markers, and pregnancy outcome were investigated by using multi-adjusted general linear models. In total, 112 pregnancies were enrolled with a median nutritional score of 7 (range 3–10). Median gestational age at birth was 277 days (range 203–296). The nutritional score was positively associated with PAPP-A concentrations, whereas a negative association was detected with the UtA mean pulsatility index and placental volume. A positive association was detected between nutritional score and gestational age at birth. This study demonstrates that a first trimester nutritional score as a measure of adherence to a healthy diet is significantly associated with early biochemical and ultrasound markers of placental development, with further association with gestational age at birth.
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