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BackgroundThe prevalence of gestational hypertension and diabetes in pregnancy is increasing worldwide. Diet is a modifiable factor that may influence these conditions, but few studies have examined the association between diet quality and blood pressure and glucose profiles among pregnant women. Data are especially scarce for women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where 90% of global pregnancies occur, and in urban settings. We, therefore, assessed these associations among 174 pregnant women in the Asian megacity of Jakarta in a cross-sectional study of the Brain Probiotic and LC-PUFA Intervention for Optimum Early Life (BRAVE) project.MethodsTrained field-enumerators collected socio-demographic characteristics, measured Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC), and assessed diet by two 24-hour recalls, which were used to calculate the Alternate Healthy Eating Index for Pregnancy (AHEI-P). Blood pressure was measured by automated sphygmomanometer, and fasting blood glucose by capillary glucometer. General linear models were used to identify associations.ResultsThe median AHEI-P score was 47.4 (IQR 19.1-76.6). The middle tertile of the AHEI-P score (39.59-56.58) was associated with a 0.4 SD (standardized effect size, 95% CI -0.7 to -0.06; p = 0.02) lower diastolic blood pressure compared with the lowest tertile (<39.59), after adjustment for level of education, smoking status, MUAC, gestational age, history of hypertension, and family history of hypertension. However, no associations were found between the AHEI-P score and systolic blood pressure and blood glucose.ConclusionHigher diet quality was associated with lower diastolic blood pressure among pregnant women in an urban LMIC community, but not with systolic blood pressure and blood glucose. A behavioral change intervention trial would be warranted to confirm the influence of diet quality on blood pressure and glucose levels and among pregnant women, and even before pregnancy.

Original publication





PloS one

Publication Date





Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia, Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia.


Arm, Brain, Humans, Blood Glucose, Fatty Acids, Unsaturated, Anthropometry, Diet, Prevalence, Linear Models, Cross-Sectional Studies, Sphygmomanometers, Pregnancy, Blood Pressure, Social Class, Probiotics, Adult, Indonesia, Female, Young Adult, Biomarkers