Maternal antenatal multiple micronutrient supplementation for long-term health benefits in children

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There is currently no evidence that, compared with iron and folic acid supplementation, routine maternal antenatal multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMN) improves childhood survival, growth, body composition, blood pressure, respiratory or cognitive outcomes.

MMN supplementation has been considered to improve birth outcomes in low- and middle- income countries. This review aimed to assess evidence from long-term follow-up studies of MMN supplementation during pregnancy, in children between ages 0 and 9. Seventeen trials were included for review focusing on the following outcomes; offspring mortality, height, weight and head circumference, anthropometry, body composition, blood pressure, and cognitive and lung function. Trials were assessed for bias using a pre-tested data extraction form. Meta-analysis showed no difference in mortality rates with MMN intervention. Anthropometric studies found no difference at follow-up in weight-for-age z score, height-for-age z score or head circumference. No differences were observed in body composition, blood pressure, or respiratory outcomes, nor cognitive function scores.

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