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Carin Andrén Aronsson

Head of unit

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Use of dietary supplements in pregnant women in relation to sociodemographic factors - a report from The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study.


  • Carin Andrén Aronsson
  • Kendra Vehik
  • Jimin Yang
  • Ulla Uusitalo
  • Kristen Hay
  • Gesa Joslowski
  • Anne Riikonen
  • Lori Ballard
  • Suvi M Virtanen
  • Jill M Norris

Summary, in English

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to examine the prevalence and associated factors of dietary supplement use, particularly supplements containing vitamin D and fatty acids, in pregnant women enrolled in a multi-national study. DESIGN: The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study is a prospective longitudinal cohort study. Maternal dietary supplement use was self-reported through questionnaires at month 3 to 4 postpartum. SETTING: Six clinical research centres; three in the USA (Colorado, Georgia/Florida and Washington) and three in Europe (Sweden, Finland and Germany). SUBJECTS: Mothers (n 7326) to infants screened for high-risk HLA-DQ genotypes of type 1 diabetes. RESULTS: Ninety-two per cent of the 7326 women used one or more types of supplement during pregnancy. Vitamin D supplements were taken by 65 % of the women, with the highest proportion of users in the USA (80·5 %). Overall, 16 % of the women reported taking fatty acid supplements and a growing trend was seen in all countries between 2004 and 2010 (P < 0·0001). The use was more common in Germany (32 %) and the USA (24 %) compared with Finland (8·5 %) and Sweden (7·0 %). Being pregnant with the first child was a strong predictor for any supplement use in all countries. Low maternal age (<25 years), higher education, BMI ≥ 25·0 kg/m2 and smoking during pregnancy were factors associated with supplement use in some but not all countries. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of the women used dietary supplements during pregnancy. The use was associated with sociodemographic and behavioural factors, such as parity, maternal age, education, BMI and maternal smoking.


  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • Celiac Disease and Diabetes Unit

Publishing year







Public Health Nutrition





Document type

Journal article


Cambridge University Press


  • Endocrinology and Diabetes



Research group

  • Diabetes and Celiac Unit


  • ISSN: 1475-2727