Nutrient intakes and nutritional biomarkers in pregnant adolescents: a systematic review of studies in developed countries
Burley, Victoria Jane
- Publisher: BioMed Central
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth,
Nutrition | Research Article | Pregnancy | Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Adolescent | Systematic review
Background Babies born to adolescent mothers have been shown to have poorer outcomes compared to those born to adults. Nutritional status may have an important role to play in improving the health of pregnant adolescents; however there is a lack of evidence regarding the adequacy of adolescent diets during pregnancy. This systematic review aims to examine what is known about the nutritional status of adolescent pregnant women. Methods A systematic search of the literature identified 21 studies which met the inclusion criteria for the review. Primary research papers using any methods were included where they were published in English between January 1995 and May 2015 and included measurements of nutrient intakes or biological markers of nutritional status in pregnant women aged 11–19 years. Individual study data was first summarised narratively before study means were pooled to give an estimate of nutritional status in the population. Results The results show that individual studies reported intakes of energy, fibre and a number of key micronutrients which were below recommended levels. Biological markers of iron and selenium status also showed cause for concern. Pooled analysis of individual means as a percentage of UK Dietary Reference Intakes showed intakes of vitamin D (34.8 % CI 0–83.1) to be significantly below recommendations (p = 0.05). Serum selenium levels were also found to be low (61.8 μg/L, CI 39–84). Conclusions This review has identified a number of areas where the nutritional status of pregnant adolescents is sub-optimal, which may have implications for the health of adolescent mothers and their babies. It was not however possible to examine the impact of supplement use or socio-demographic characteristics which limits the interpretation these results. Further work is needed to establish the characteristics of those most at risk within this population, how this differs from adult pregnant women and the role of supplementation in achieving adequate nutrition. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12884-016-1059-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.