Shorter time to pregnancy with increasing preconception carotene concentrations among womenwith 1-2 previous pregnancy losses

Keewan Kim, Enrique F. Schisterman, Robert M. Silver, Brian D. Wilcox, Anne M. Lynch, Neil J. Perkins, Richard W. Browne, Laurie L. Lesher, Joseph B. Stanford, Aijun Ye, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Sunni L. Mumford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although maternal nutrition may affect fecundity, associations between preconception micronutrient levels and time to pregnancy (TTP) have not been examined. We assessed the relationship between preconception fat-solublemicronutrient concentrations and TTP among women with 1-2 prior pregnancy losses. This was a prospective cohort study of 1,228 women set within the Effects of Aspirin inGestation and Reproduction (EAGeR) Trial (United States, 2007-2011), which assessed the association of preconception-initiated daily low-dose aspirin with reproductive outcomes.Wemeasured preconception levels of zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, lycopene, α- and β-carotene, and α- and γ-tocopherol in serum. We used discrete Cox regression models, accounting for left-truncation and right-censoring, to calculate fecundability odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. The models adjusted for age, body mass index, race, smoking, alcohol, physical activity, income, vitamin use, cholesterol, treatment arm, and study site. Serum α-carotene levels (per log unit (μg/dL) increase, fecundability odds ratio (FOR) = 1.17, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00, 1.36) and serum α-carotene concentrations at or above the US average (2.92 μg/dL) versus below the average (FOR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.44) were associated with shorter TTP. Compared with levels below theUS average (187 μg/dL), γ-tocopherol concentrations at or above the average were associated with longer TTP (FOR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.69, 1.00). The potential for these nutrients to influence fecundability deserves further exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1907-1915
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenes
  • Fecundability
  • Lipophilic micronutrients
  • Time to pregnancy
  • Tocopherols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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