Importance of maternal nutrition for fetal and infant growth. The mediating role of the IGF-system in a malnourished population.
Time period: 2016-01-01 to 2017-11-01
Project leader: Emma Lindström
Funder: Swedish Research Council
Type of award: International cooperation
Total fundning: 960 000 SEK
Poor fetal growth is associated with adverse health consequences for the individual, both short- and long-term. While the mothers nutritional status both before and during pregnancy is associated with fetal growth, underlying mechanisms are still not completely understood. The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system and its components has been studied in pregnancy and suggested as potential mediators between the associations between maternal nutritional status and growth of the fetus. While several studies have found maternal IGF-1 concentrations to be associated with size at birth, other studies find no such associations. There is also little knowledge on associations between maternal IGF-system and later infant growth. This population-based study will be implemented in a rural setting in Bangladesh where poor maternal nutritional status is common. We aim to investigate maternal nutritional status and the IGF-system in relation to fetal growth, infant size at birth, body composition and infant growth. We will use different indicators of maternal nutritional status (body weight, length and body composition). Fetal growth will be measured by ultrasound and infant body composition by skinfolds. Our proposed study may give more insight into these complex relationsships and increase our understanding of fetal growth regulation. This will help designing appropriate nutrition interventions by identifying who benefits most, and when interventions would be most successful.