• Are women in early pregnancy following the national pyramid recommendations?

      O'Neill, J L; Keaveney, E M; O'Connor, N; Cox, M; Regan, A; Shannon, E; Turner, M J; Danone Baby Nutrition, Block 1, Deansgrange Business Park, Deansgrange, Co., Dublin. (2011-10)
      Appropriate nutrition in pregnancy is fundamental for maternal and fetal health, and the long-term physiological wellbeing of the offspring. We aimed to determine whether a sample of pregnant women met the national guidelines for healthy eating during pregnancy, and to examine if compliance differs when analysed by Body Mass Index (BMI) category. Subjects completed a 24-hr dietary recall, and had their BMI calculated. The mean age was 27.8 years. The mean BMI was 25.1 kg/m2, with 32 (31.7%) subjects overweight and 14 (13.9%) obese based on BMI category. Although the majority of subjects thought that they had a healthy diet, less than half met the recommended guidelines for each individual food group with achievement of the dairy group being particularly low. Achievement of food group recommendations was not influenced by BMI category. Public health messages on healthy eating guidelines need to be clearly communicated to pregnant women.
    • Comparison in maternal body composition between Caucasian Irish and Indian women.

      Farah, N; Murphy, M; Ramphul, M; O'Connor, N; Kennelly, M M; Turner, M J; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, , Dublin, Ireland. nadine.farah@ucd.ie (2012-02-01)
      The use of body mass index (BMI) for the diagnosis of obesity has limitations, especially when comparing ethnic groups with different body proportions. The aim of this prospective study was to compare maternal body composition in early pregnancy between Caucasian Irish and Indian women. A total of 81 Indian women and 81 Irish Caucasian women were matched for age, parity and BMI. Maternal weight and height were measured, and body composition analysed using bioelectrical impedance. The Irish women were taller and weighed more than the Indian women (p<0.001). At any given BMI, the Indian women had a higher total body fat percentage, visceral fat level and high fat percentage than the Irish women (p=0.024, 0.001 and 0.001, respectively). Our findings suggest that lower BMI cut-offs should be used for screening for gestational diabetes mellitus in Indian women attending our antenatal services.
    • The measurement of maternal adiposity.

      Fattah, C; Farah, N; Barry, S; O'Connor, N; Stuart, B; Turner, M J; UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, Coombe Women and Infants University, Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      The issue of maternal obesity has become a major public health problem. Internationally, the diagnosis of obesity is based on body mass index (BMI) that is, weight in kg/height in m2. While epidemiological associations have been shown between different BMI categories and adverse clinical outcomes, there is also a growing realisation that BMI has significant limitations. In this review, we assess current methods to measure body fat and, in particular, their application in pregnant women.
    • Polycystic ovary syndrome and the peripheral blood white cell count.

      Herlihy, A C; Kelly, R E; Hogan, J L; O'Connor, N; Farah, N; Turner, M J; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, , Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      This retrospective cross-sectional study examined if the white cell count (WCC) is increased in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and if so, is it due to PCOS or to the associated obesity? Body mass index (BMI) was calculated and body composition was measured using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Of the 113 women studied, 36 had PCOS and 77 did not. The mean WCC was higher in the PCOS group compared with the non-PCOS group (8.9 x 10(9)/l vs 7.4 x 10(9)/l p = 0.002). This increase was due to a higher neutrophil count (5.6 x 10(9)/l vs 4.3 x 10(9)/l; p = 0.003). There was a leucocytosis (WCC >11 x 10(9)/l) present in 19% of the PCOS group compared with 1% in the non-PCOS group (p < 0.001). The neutrophil count was abnormally high (>7.7 x 10(9)/l) in 14% of the PCOS group compared with 4% in the non-PCOS group (p < 0.001). On regression analysis, however, the only independent variable which explained both the increased WCC and the increased neutrophil count was PCOS. We found that PCOS is associated with an increased WCC due to increased neutrophils, which supports the evidence that PCOS is associated with low-grade inflammation. The increase appears to be due to the underlying PCOS, and not to the increased adiposity associated with PCOS.