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Nutritional risk factors of bacterial vaginosis

Bobo, Tanya (2009) Nutritional risk factors of bacterial vaginosis. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a highly prevalent vaginal condition that has been associated with a number of pregnancy complications, including spontaneous preterm births (sPTB). A number of risk factors for BV have been identified yet its etiology is not understood. Few studies have investigated the role of nutrition in the etiology of BV. Maternal iron and folate status may be important in the development of BV as they play key roles in host immunity. The purpose of this review is to critically evaluate the literature and provide support to the hypothesis that certain micronutrients, iron, and folate, are risk factors for BV early in pregnancy. Iron and folate may be important in both humoral and cell-mediated innate immunity, respectively. Both facets of innate immunity are important in the control of BV. Preliminary data suggests that vitamin D is associated with BV early in pregnancy. In a prospective cohort study, pregnant women enrolled at <16 weeks were followed through delivery. Serum collected at enrollment was analyzed for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and Gram-stained vaginal smears were evaluated for BV using Nugent criteria. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the association between 25(OH)D and BV while adjusting for a number of confounders. The association between vitamin D and BV varied by race (likelihood ratio test, p=0.09). A 50-nmol/l decrease in 25OHD was associated with a 4.2-fold (95% CI, 2.1, 8.1) increase in the odds of BV in black women. Among white women, there was no association between maternal 25(OH)D and BV. These results indicate that maternal vitamin D deficiency is associated with BV in early pregnancy among black, but not white women. Studies such as these are of great public health significance because maternal nutrition is modifiable, and interventions to improve maternal nutritional status can be safe, inexpensive, and readily acceptable to patients.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBodnar, Lisa M.bodnar@edc.pitt.eduLBODNAR
Committee MemberHaggerty, Catherinehaggertyc@edc.pitt.eduHAGGERTY
Committee MemberKrohn, Marijane
Date: 29 September 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 17 June 2009
Approval Date: 29 September 2009
Submission Date: 8 June 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: folate; vaginal flora; vitamin D; iron; nutrition; bacterial vaginosis
Other ID:, etd-06082009-102916
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:46
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:44


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