Article: PDF OnlyPericonceptional Nutrient Intake and Risk for Neural Tube Defect-Affected PregnanciesShaw, Gary M.; Todoroff, Karen; Schaffer, Donna M.; Selvin, SteveAuthor Information From the 'March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, Emeryville; 'Division of Research, Kaiser Permanence Medical Care Program, Oakland; and 'Divisions of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA Epidemiology: November 1999 - Volume 10 - Issue 6 - p 711-716 Free Abstract We investigated whether intakes of nutrients, including of late, by women in the periconceptional period were associated with risks of neural tube defect (NTD)-affected pregnancies. Data were part of a case-control study of fetuses and infants with NTDs among 1989-1991 California births. We conducted interviews with mothers of 409 NTD cases and 420 normal formed controls. Nutrient intake for the 3 months before conception was derived from food frequency questionnaires and from questions to mothers about vitamin/mineral supplement use. We computed NTD risk for each nutrient controlling for the influence of all other studied nutrients and for maternal education, race/ethnicity, height, and prepregnancy weight. Most single nutrients reduced NTD risks when intakes were considered in quartiles and unadjusted for other nutrients Some of the same nutrients, however, did not provide similar interpretations when we adjusted for other nutrients. Adjusted analyses revealed decreased NTD risks with increased intakes of methionine, lutein, magnesium, zinc, and thiamin for women who did not use vitamin supplements periconceptionally. We observed decreased NTD risks associated with increased intakes of linoleic acid, cysteine, calcium, and zinc for women who used supplements. We also observed increased NTD risks with increased intakes of oleic acid. For users as well as nonusers of vitamin supplements, we observed reduced risks with increased intakes of grains and dairy products. Chance was a likely alternative explanation for many of the observed risk patterns. (Epidemiology 1999;10:711–716 © 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.