Racial/ethnic and sociodemographic factors associated with micronutrient intakes and inadequacies among pregnant women in an urban US population

Public Health Nutr. 2014 Sep;17(9):1960-70. doi: 10.1017/S1368980013003224. Epub 2013 Dec 13.


Objective: To assess sociodemographic correlates of micronutrient intakes from food and dietary supplements in an urban, ethnically diverse sample of pregnant women in the USA.

Design: Cross-sectional analyses of data collected using a validated semi-quantitative FFQ. Associations between racial, ethnic and sociodemographic factors and micronutrient intakes were examined using logistic regression controlling for pre-pregnancy BMI, maternal age and smoking status.

Setting: Prenatal clinics, Boston, MA, USA.

Subjects: Analyses included pregnant women (n 274) in the PRogramming of Intergenerational Stress Mechanisms (PRISM) study, an urban longitudinal cohort designed to examine how stress influences respiratory health in children when controlling for other environmental exposures (chemical stressors, nutrition).

Results: High frequencies of vitamin E (52 %), Mg (38 %), Fe (57 %) and vitamin D (77 %) inadequacies as well as suboptimal intakes of choline (95 %) and K (99 %) were observed. Factors associated with multiple antioxidant inadequacies included being Hispanic or African American, lower education and self-reported economic-related food insecurity. Hispanics had a higher prevalence of multiple methyl-nutrient inadequacies compared with African Americans; both had suboptimal betaine intakes and higher odds for vitamin B₆ and Fe inadequacies compared with Caucasians. Nearly all women (98 %) reported Na intakes above the tolerable upper limit; excessive intakes of Mg (35 %), folate (37 %) and niacin (38 %) were also observed. Women reporting excessive intakes of these nutrients were more likely Caucasian or Hispanic, more highly educated, US-born and did not report food insecurity.

Conclusions: Racial/ethnic and other sociodemographic factors should be considered when tailoring periconceptional dietary interventions for urban ethnic women in the USA.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American
  • Boston / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Deficiency Diseases / epidemiology
  • Deficiency Diseases / ethnology
  • Deficiency Diseases / etiology*
  • Deficiency Diseases / psychology
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Diet / economics
  • Diet / ethnology
  • Diet / psychology
  • Female
  • Food Supply* / economics
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena* / ethnology
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Micronutrients / deficiency*
  • Micronutrients / economics
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / ethnology
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological* / economics
  • Stress, Psychological* / ethnology
  • Urban Health / economics
  • Urban Health / ethnology


  • Micronutrients