Background: Despite the advances in prenatal care and improving health indicators, preterm delivery and resultant infant mortality rate are still considerable. Emerged financial, social, mental and emotional damages could result in mental and behavioral disabilities for mothers as well as children. Although spontaneous preterm labor is well known as a multifactorial issue, yet poor nutrition is assumed as a strong related factor. Objective: To identify the role of dietary habits on preterm delivery prevalence in Iran, this study was conducted on pregnant women with preterm and term delivery. Methods: In this retrospective case-control study, 70 women with preterm labor and 70 women with term labor were compared in terms of their dietary habits. Women who met the inclusion criteria and referred to two hospitals in North-East of Iran were selected using purposive convenience sampling method and completed 163-item food frequency and dietary habits questionnaire. Results: This study showed that dietary habits of women with preterm labor are more unfavorable compared to women with term labor (P = 0.023). Generally, dietary habit of more than half of the women with preterm labor, in this study, was assessed unfavorable. In terms of different food groups, daily intake of vegetables was significantly lower in women with preterm labor (P = 0.02). Consumption of dairy products was also lower in women with preterm labor than women with term labor which was significant (P = 0.05). Conclusion: To prevent adverse outcomes of preterm delivery more attention regarding nutritional planning for pregnant women seems to be essential.
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