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Global Health
March 21, 2017

Boosting Cognitive Development in Children

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2017 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

JAMA. 2017;317(11):1109. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.2347

Taking prenatal maternal multiple micronutrients (MMNs) during pregnancy along with a nurturing environment during childhood have long-term benefits for a child’s cognitive development, according to a follow-up study of the Supplementation With Multiple Micronutrients Intervention Trial (SUMMIT) published recently in Lancet Global Health.

The SUMMIT study took place between 2001 and 2004 in Lombok, Indonesia, and was a double-blind, cluster randomized trial involving almost 32 000 pregnant women. Half of the study participants were given iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation throughout their pregnancy until 3 months postpartum, while the other half received IFA incorporated with MMNs, including retinol, vitamin B1, and zinc, for the same time period. Ten years later, the researchers looked at how MMN supplementation, as well as early socioenvironmental and additional biomedical factors, affected cognitive development in a randomly selected sample of 2879 children who were between the ages of 9 and 12 years and whose mothers had participated in the SUMMIT study. Socioenvironmental determinants included home environment, parental education, socioeconomic status, and maternal depression, and biomedical factors included anthropometry, postnatal growth, and preterm birth.