Household food insecurity is associated with low interferon-gamma levels in pregnant Indian women

Citation: Vaidya A, Bhosale R, Sambarey P, Suryavanshi N, Young S, Mave V, Kanade S, Kulkarni V, Deshpande P, Balasubramanian U, Elf J, Gupte N, Gupta A, Mathad J. Household food insecurity is associated with low interferon-gamma levels in pregnant Indian women. Int J TB Lung Dis. 1 Jul 2017;21(7):797-803.

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28633705

Objective:

To determine the association between household food insecurity and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) levels in pregnancy.

Design:

Pregnant women in India were administered the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) questionnaire and underwent an IFN-γ release assay. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with food insecurity.

Results:

Of 538 women, 60 (11%) had household food insecurity, 47 (78%) of which were moderate or severe food insecure. After mitogen stimulation, moderate or severe food insecure women had a median IFN-γ concentration of 4.2 IU/ml (IQR 2.2-9.8) vs. 8.4 IU/ml (IQR 3.0-10) in women with no or mild food insecurity (P = 0.03). In multivariate analysis, higher IFN-γ concentrations were associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection (OR 1.3, 95%CI 0.51-2.1, P = 0.001), and inversely associated with moderate or severe food insecurity (OR -1.6, 95%CI -2.9 to -0.27, P = 0.02) and the number of adults in the household (OR -0.08, 95%CI -0.16 to -0.01, P = 0.03). There was no association between food insecurity and IFN-γ response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen.

Conclusion:

Food insecurity in pregnancy is associated with low IFN-γ levels. There was no association between food insecurity and IFN-γ response to M. tuberculosis antigen, but our study was underpowered to detect this outcome.

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