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Maternal dietary selenium intake and selenium status during pregnancy in relation to pregnancy outcomes, neonatal outcomes and child health - project description


The aim of this project is to study the impact of maternal prenatal selenium intake, selenium status and genetic variation in selenium metabolism on pregnancy and neonatal outcome as well as childhood development.

  • Start


  • Status


  • Financing

    Agreement concerning research and education of doctors (ALFGBG-717501), Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg, Sweden. March of Dimes (#21-FY16-121). The Health & Medical Care Committee of the Regional Executive Board, Region Västra Götaland, Sweden (VGFOUREG-658361). Wilhelm and Martina Lundgren Foundation grant no. 2017-1788 The Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg grant no. 2017-054.

  • Project owner/ Project manager

    Sahlgrenska Universitetssjukehuset

  • Project manager

  • Related study

    Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa)

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Preterm deliveries occur in 5-13 % of all pregnancies and represent a substantial burden to perinatal medicine worldwide. Selenium is an essential trace element and is one of the building stones of some enzymes that are involved in protection from oxidative stress. Selenium has also been shown to dampen inflammation.

In this project we want to study if selenium, either in the diet or in the blood of pregnant women, may affect the health of the pregnant mother and her baby, with a focus on preterm delivery, preeclampsia, birth weight, neurological development and neonatal outcomes. We will also study genetic variation in genes that are involved in the selenium metabolism to find out more about the association between selenium and pregnancy and childhood outcomes.

The following research questions will be studied:

  1. Is maternal intake of selenium associated with maternal selenium status as measured in pregnancy week 17-18 in the MoBa cohort?
  2. Is maternal intake of selenium and/or the selenium status during pregnancy associated with: a) gestational length and preterm delivery? b) preeclampsia or hypertensive pregnancy disorders? c) birth weight and small-for-gestational-age (SGA)? d) neonatal outcomes? e) child health and development such as neurocognitive development and growth?
  3. Are there any gene environment interaction between Genetic variation in genes involved in selenium metabolism and selenium intake or status in regard to pregnancy and child outcomes such as PTD, SGA and growth of the child?

Collaborating institutions

Sahlgrenska Universitetssjukhuset/Östra

Norwegian Institute of Public Health