Exploring relationships among psychosocial status, dietary quality, and measures of placental development during the first trimester in low-income women.

Research paper by Eileen R ER Fowles, Christina C Murphey, Roberta Jeanne RJ Ruiz

Indexed on: 28 Aug '10Published on: 28 Aug '10Published in: Biological research for nursing


To examine the relationships between maternal psychosocial factors and dietary quality and explore the relationships among dietary quality and selected biomarkers of nutrition and placental development.A cross-sectional design in 18 low-income, pregnant women.Partner support was positively related to vegetable intake (r = .54) and negatively related to intake of iron (r = -.68) and grains (r = -.67). Emotional eating in response to anger was negatively related to intake of iron-(r /it> = -.53) and folate-rich (r = -.75) foods, and emotional eating in response to anxiety was negatively related to intake of folate-rich foods (r = -.51). Depressed women had an increased intake of calcium-rich foods (r = .60). Levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were negatively related to depression (r = -.56) and intake of foods high in calcium (r = -.53) and iron (r = -.34) but positively related to serum calcium levels (r = .60). VEGF was negatively relationship to soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1; r = -.56). Placental growth factor had a negative relationship with maternal serum levels of albumin (r = -.61) and calcium (r = -.65).Low-income pregnant women who eat to cope with anger and anxiety may have an inadequate intake of nutrients that contribute to positive pregnancy outcomes. Placental development in the early weeks of pregnancy may be influenced by maternal psychosocial and nutritional status. More research is needed to explore the relationship of dietary quality and placental development in the first trimester of pregnancy.