Association Between Maternal Diet Factors and Hemoglobin Levels, Glucose Tolerance, Blood Pressure and Gestational Age in a Hispanic Population

Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2015 Jun;65(2):86-96.


The aim of this study was to describe the dietary patterns of pregnant women in northern Puerto Rico and explore associations between diet factors with pregnancy related measurements. This analysis is based on the Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats (PROTECT), a prospective cohort that is studying environmental risk factors for preterm births in PR. Participants completed a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) around 20-28 weeks of gestation. The following pregnancy related measures were collected from the medical records: hemoglobin, blood glucose, blood pressure and gestational age. Potential associations between diet factors and pregnancy measures were assessed using chi square analysis with SPSS. A total of 180 participants completed the FFQ; low hemoglobin levels was found in 19.2%, high blood glucose levels was found in 21.1% by fasting blood glucose test and 24.6%by 1-hour 50 g oral glucose screening test, high blood pressure was found in 2.9% (systolic) and 6.5% (diastolic), and pre-term birth was found in 10.4% of the participants. High consumption of rice, desserts and sweets was associated with higher levels of fasting blood glucose levels (p < 0.05), while high consumption of vegetables was associated with higher 1-hour glucose challenge test (p < 0.05).No other significant associations were found. In conclusion, consumption of high dense energy food diets in pregnancy, such as rice, sweets and desserts, can lead to high levels of blood glucose and can be a potential predictor of other pregnancy complications during pregnancy in these study participants, such as gestational diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / prevention & control
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Hemoglobins / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Puerto Rico / ethnology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hemoglobins