Dietary factors and risk of spontaneous abortion

Elisabetta Di Cintio, Fabio Parazzini, Liliane Chatenoud, Matteo Surace, Guido Benzi, Giovanni Zanconato, Carlo La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study examines the association between dietary habits and risk of spontaneous abortion. Design: Hospital-based case-control study. Setting: Obstetric hospitals in Milan, Italy. Subjects: Cases were: 912 women admitted for spontaneous abortion (within the 12th week of gestation). Controls were: women who gave birth at term to healthy infants on randomly selected days at the same hospitals where cases had been identified. Results: The risk of spontaneous abortion was inversely and significantly related to green vegetables, fruit, milk, cheese, eggs and fish consumption. The multivariate odds ratios (OR), for highest versus lowest levels of intake, were 0.3 for fruit, 0.5 for cheese, 0.6 for green vegetables and milk and 0.7 for fish and eggs. The major type of seasoning fats have showed a direct association with risk of miscarriage. Comparing the highest with the lowest intake, the ORs were 2.0 (95% confidence interval, CI 1.1-3.6) and 1.6 (95% CI 1.1-2.3) for butter and oil, respectively. No consistent association emerged between meat, liver, ham and carrots intake and the risk of spontaneous abortion. Conclusions: This result suggests that a diet poor in several aspects, including vegetables and fruit, milk and dairy products, but rich in fats, may be a determinant or a correlate of increased risk of spontaneous abortion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-136
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Diet
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk factors
  • Spontaneous abortion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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