Selected food intake and risk of multiple pregnancies

Fabio Parazzini, Liliane Chatenoud, Gaia Bettoni, Luca Tozzi, Simonetta Turco, Matteo Surace, Elisabetta Di Cintio, Guido Benzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to explore the association between multiple birth risk and diet, data were analysed from a case-control study on risk factors for multiple births conducted in Italy between 1988 and 1998. A total of 185 cases (median age 30 years) were interviewed: 36 women delivered monozygotic and 149 delivered spontaneous dizygotic multiple births. The control group comprised 498 women who gave birth at term (>37 weeks gestation) to healthy infants on randomly selected days at the same clinic. Women were specifically excluded if they reported a history of multiple pregnancy or they had received treatment for infertility for the index pregnancy. No marked differences emerged in daily intake between cases and controls and a total of 35 foods items, including the major sources of beta-carotene, retinol, ascorbic acid, vitamin D, E, methionine folate and calcium in the Italian diet. Likewise intake of selected micronutrients was largely similar in dizygotic cases, monozygotic cases and controls, with the only exception of a slightly lower intake of folates in dizygotic pregnancies in comparison with controls: this difference was statistically significant (P <0.05), but limited in quantitative terms (mean daily intake of folate 192.4, 183.2 and 191.4 μg respectively in monozygotic, dizygotic cases and controls). In conclusion, the results of this study do not support the role of diet in the development of multiple births.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-373
Number of pages4
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Diet
  • Epidemiology
  • Foods
  • Multiple births
  • Risk factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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