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'Micronutrient supplements at early pregnancy reduce infant mortality'

By City Desk
12th-Aug-2017       
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Food and multiple micronutrient supplements from early pregnancy reduce infant mortality, a study of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh(ICDDR,B) revealed in the city on Thursday.
The study titled MINIMat (Maternal and Infant Nutrition Interventions in Matlab Bangladesh), said infant death has reduced by more than 60 percent of those mothers who received food and multiple micronutrient supplements from early pregnancy compared to those who took late food supplements and iron-folic acid capsules, a press release said.
Additionally, the nutrition interventions during pregnancy found to be influencing the height growth of children, cognitive function, social conditions as well as chronic disease risk indicators at around five years, it added.
In the fifteen-year randomised factorial cohort study revealed at the ICDDR,B, scientists and their partners have found possible ways to break a vicious circle of malnutrition across generations.
Maternal and child under-nutrition is estimated to be the underlying cause of 3.5 million annual deaths globally and almost half of the total disease burden in under-five children. Nutritional imbalance in foetal or early life is associated with short- and long-term health consequences and chronic disease risk in adulthood.
The MINIMat study commenced in 2001 and recruited 4,436 women who were given food supplements and micronutrients from early pregnancy.
This group of women and their children have been followed overtime and also initiatives have been taken to follow the children up to 15 years of age.
The study has also included analyses of health consequences of early life exposure to environmental toxicants, such as arsenic and cadmium via drinking water and food. It has also addressed child growth, cognitive function, and social conditions and health.
Dr Shams El Arifeen, senior director, Maternal and Child Health Division, ICDDR,B, Sheema Sen Gupta, deputy representative of UNICEF Bangladesh, Marcela Lizana, first secretary (health), Embassy of Sweden attended the event while Syed Monjurul Islam, deputy executive director, ICDDR,B chaired the concluding session.

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