Background. Multiple micronutrient deficiencies are common among women in low-income countries and may adversely affect pregnancy outcomes. Objective: To conduct a meta-analysis of the effects on stillbirths and on early and late neonatal mortality of supplementation during pregnancy with multiple micronutrients compared with iron-folic acid in recent randomized, controlled trials. Methods: Twelve randomized, controlled trials were included in the analysis (Bangladesh; Burkina Faso; China; Guinea-Bissau; Indramayu and Lombok, Indonesia; Mexico; Sarlahi and Janakur, Nepal; Niger; Pakistan; and Zimbabwe), all providing approximately 1 recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of multiple micronutrients or iron-folic acid to presumed HIV-negative women. Results: Supplementation providing approximately 1 RDA of multiple micronutrients did not decrease the risk of stillbirth (OR = 1.01; 95% CI, 0.88 to 1.16), early neonatal mortality (OR = 1.23; 95% CI, 0.95 to 1.59), late neonatal mortality (OR = 0.94; 95% CI, 0.73 to 1.23), or perinatal mortality (OR = 1.11; 95% CI, 0.93 to 1.33). Conclusions: Our meta-analysis provides consistent evidence that supplementation providing approximately 1 RDA of multiple micronutrients during pregnancy does not result in any reduction in stillbirths or in early or late neonatal deaths compared with iron-folic acid alone.
Ronsmans, C.; Fisher, D.J.; Osmond, C.; Margetts, B.M.; Fall, C.H.D.; Maternal Micronutrient Supplementation Study Group (MMSSG). Multiple micronutrient supplementation during pregnancy in low-income countries: A meta-analysis of effects on stillbirths and on early and late neonatal mortality. Food and Nutrition Bulletin (2009) 30 (Suppl 4) 547-555.