Medical Student University of Nebraska Medical Center University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Background: Carotenoids are fat-soluble nutrients with antioxidative properties, therefore providing protection against oxidative stress. Blood carotenoid levels are lower in newborn infants than their mothers. However, limited information is available regarding how levels change throughout gestation.
Objective: The objective of this research is to assess carotenoid levels and intrauterine transfer rates across five groups of birth gestational age.
Design/Methods: An IRB-approved study enrolled mother-infant dyads at time of delivery for collection of electronic health data and maternal and umbilical cord blood. Birth gestational age was categorized into five groups: extremely preterm (<28 weeks), very preterm (28 to <32 weeks), moderately to late preterm (32 to <37 weeks), early term (37 to <39 weeks), and term (>39 weeks). Carotenoid levels (lutein + zeaxanthin, b-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, a-carotene, b-carotene) were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Intrauterine transfer rate was calculated as follows: (umbilical cord blood carotenoid level/maternal carotenoid level) *100. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare baseline carotenoid levels and intrauterine transfer rates between the gestational age groups. A p-value of <0.05 was statistically significant
Results: Of 372 dyads, most were delivered at early term (20.2%) or term (64.8%). Per Table 1, baseline maternal levels varied by gestational age for nearly all carotenoids, with exception of b-carotene which approached significance (p=0.053). The primary trend observed is for increasing carotenoid levels with advancing gestational age groups. Intrauterine transfer rates were significantly different for all carotenoids across gestational age groups except for b-carotene (p=0.132). However, only b-cryptoxanthin was significantly different across gestational age groups for umbilical cord blood. Conclusion(s): There are significant differences in maternal carotenoid levels across varying gestational age groups. While intrauterine transfer rates vary across gestational age groups for a majority of the carotenoids, there are few differences observed in resulting carotenoid levels in umbilical cord blood. Further research is needed to better assess these relationships among younger gestational age groups and to ascertain how these levels impact preterm infant health.
Authors/Institutions: Chelsey Urbauer, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States; Melissa Thoene, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States; Matthew Van Ormer, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States; Maranda Thompson, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States; Corrine Hanson, Universtiy of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States; Ann L Anderson Berry, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States