Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 1861–1868 | Cite as

The Influence of Pre-natal Supplement Initiation on Preterm Birth Among Majority Hispanic Women in Los Angeles County: The Role of Nativity

  • Vivian H. AlfonsoEmail author
  • Ondine von Ehrenstein
  • Gretchen Bandoli
  • Beate Ritz


Objectives Despite being encouraged to take pre-natal supplements, suboptimal micronutrient intake is common in pregnancy, especially among Hispanic women. In this study, we assessed whether initiation and timing of pre-natal vitamin use influences the risk of preterm birth. Methods Women who gave birth to singletons in 2003 in Los Angeles County, California, were enrolled into a population-based case–control study. Focusing on non-Hispanic white and Hispanic women, associations between timing of pre-natal supplement use and preterm birth were assessed using logistic regression. Results Among Hispanic mothers, the odds of preterm birth increased the later a woman initiated pre-natal supplement use in pregnancy. The magnitude of this association was larger in US-born compared to foreign-born Hispanic women. Conclusions These findings suggest that nativity may modify the relationship between pre-natal supplement use and preterm birth possibly due to underlying differences in diet composition of Hispanic women by place of birth.


Folic acid Prenatal nutrition Preconception nutrition Preterm birth Nutritional epidemiology Maternal public health 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS R01 ES010960-01).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivian H. Alfonso
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ondine von Ehrenstein
    • 2
  • Gretchen Bandoli
    • 1
  • Beate Ritz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of California, Los Angeles, Fielding School of Public HealthLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community Health SciencesUniversity of California, Los Angeles, Fielding School of Public HealthLos AngelesUSA

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