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The FNDC5 gene encodes the fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 that is a membrane protein mainly expressed in skeletal muscle and the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism may be associated with liver disease severity in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the influence of the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the relationship between sarcopenia and the histological severity of NAFLD.
370 adult individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD were studied. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass was measured by bioelectrical impedance. The association between the key exposure sarcopenia, and the outcome liver histological severity, was investigated by binary logistic regression. Stratified analyses were undertaken to examine the impact of FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the association between sarcopenia and the severity of NAFLD histology.
Patients with sarcopenia had more severe histological grades of steatosis and a higher prevalence of significant fibrosis and definite NASH than those without sarcopenia. There was a significant association between sarcopenia and significant fibrosis (adjusted odds ratio 2.79, 95%CI 1.31-5.95, p=0.008), independent of established risk factors and potential confounders. Among patients with sarcopenia, significant fibrosis occurred more frequently in the rs3480 AA genotype carriers than in those carrying the FNDC5 rs3480 G genotype (43.8% vs. 17.2%, p=0.031). In the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis, there was a significant interaction between the FNDC5 genotype and sarcopenia status (p-value for interaction=0.006).
Sarcopenia is independently associated with significant liver fibrosis, and the FNDC5 rs3480 G variant influences the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
Sugarcane brown rust, caused by Puccinia melanocephala, is one of the main diseases of sugarcane in China. The identification and discovery of new resistance genes have important theoretical and practical significance for preventing outbreaks of brown rust and ensuring the sustainable production of sugarcane. To screen for polymorphic simple-sequence repeat (SSR) molecular markers for localization of brown rust resistance genes, we used two populations that are suitable for genetic linkage map construction and mapping of new resistance genes to construct resistant and susceptible genetic pools. We then screened 449 pairs of primers to identify polymorphic SSR markers in the parental lines and the resistant/susceptible genetic pools. The results showed that 25 pairs of primers directed amplification of polymorphic DNA fragments between the parents of the cross combination ‘Yuetang 03-393’ × ‘ROC 24’, and 16 pairs of primers amplified polymorphic fragments between the parents of the cross combination ‘Liucheng 03-1137’ × ‘Dezhe 93-88’. Four pairs of primers (SMC236CG, SCESSR0928, SCESSR0636 and SCESSR2551) amplified polymorphic DNA fragments between the parental lines and the resistant/susceptible genetic pools in ‘Yuetang 03-393’ × ‘ROC 24’. The results of this study will establish a solid foundation for the mapping of new brown rust resistance genes, genetic linkage map construction and the development of closely-associated molecular markers in sugarcane.
Cysticercosis caused by the metacestode larval stage of Taenia hydatigena formerly referred to as Cysticercus tenuicollis is a disease of veterinary importance that constitutes a significant threat to livestock production worldwide, especially in endemic regions due to condemnation of visceral organs and mortality rate of infected young animals. While the genetic diversity among parasites is found to be potentially useful in many areas of research including molecular diagnostics, epidemiology and control, that of T. hydatigena across the globe remains poorly understood. In this study, analysis of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of adult worms and larval stages of T. hydatigena isolated from dogs, sheep and a wild boar in China showed that the population structure consists of two major haplogroups with very high nucleotide substitutions involving synonymous and non-synonymous changes. Compared with other cestodes such as Echinococcus spp., the genetic variation observed between the haplogroups is sufficient for the assignment of major haplotype or genotype division as both groups showed a total of 166 point-mutation differences between the 12 mitochondrial protein-coding gene sequences. Preliminary analysis of a nuclear protein-coding gene (pepck) did not reveal any peculiar changes between both groups which suggests that these variants may only differ in their mitochondrial makeup.
The aim of this study was to explore the application of the flipped classroom approach in the training of Mass Casualty Triage (MCT) to medical undergraduate students.
In this study, 103 fourth-year medical students were randomly divided into a Flipped Classroom (FC) group (n = 51) and a Traditional Lecture-based Classroom (TLC) group (n = 52). A post-class quiz, simulated field triage (SFT) and feedback questionnaires were performed to assess both groups of students for their learning of the course.
In the post-quiz, the median (IQR) scores achieved by students from the FC and TLC groups were 42(5) and 39(5.5), respectively. Significant differences were found between the two groups. In the SFT, overall triage accuracy was 67.06% for FC, and 64.23% for TLC students. Over-triage and under-triage errors occurred in 18.43% and 14.50% of the FC group, respectively. The TLC group had a similar pattern of 20.77% over-triage and 15.0% under-triage errors. No significant differences were found regarding overall triage accuracy or triage errors between the two groups.
The FC approach could enhance course grades reflected in the post-quiz and improve students’ satisfaction with the class. However, there was no significant difference of competency between the two groups demonstrated in the SFT exercise.
Despite high altitude was implicated in adverse birth outcomes, there remained a paucity of evidence on low-to-medium altitude effect. This study aimed to explore the association of low-to-medium altitude with birth outcomes. A population-based cross-sectional survey was performed using a stratified multistage random sampling method among women with their infants born during 2010–2013 in Northwestern China. Altitude was determined in meters based on the village or community of the mother’s living areas. Birth outcomes involved birth weight, gestational age, and small for gestational age (SGA). Generalized linear models were fitted to investigate the association of altitude with birth outcomes. Moreover, the dose–response relationship between altitude and birth outcomes was evaluated with a restricted cubic spline function. A total of 27 801 women with their infants were included. After adjusting for potential confounders, every 100-m increase in the altitude was associated with reduced birth weight by 6.4 (95% CI −8.1, −4.6) g, the slight increase of gestational age by 0.015 (95% CI 0.010, 0.020) week, and an increased risk of SGA birth (odds ratio 1.03, 95% CI 1.02, 1.04). Moreover, there was an inversely linear relationship between altitude and birth weight (P for overall < 0.001 and P for nonlinear = 0.312), and a positive linear relationship between altitude and SGA (P for overall < 0.001 and P for nonlinear = 0.194). However, a nonlinear relationship was observed between altitude and gestational age (P for overall < 0.001 and P for nonlinear = 0.010). The present results suggest that low-to-medium altitude is possibly associated with adverse birth outcomes.
To assess the prevalence and to identify the associated factors of malnutrition among elderly Chinese with physical functional dependency.
Face-to-face interviews using standardised questionnaires were conducted to collect demographic information, health-related issues and psychosocial status. Physical function was measured by the Barthel Index (BI), and nutrition status was assessed by the Mini Nutritional Assessment–Short Form. Multivariate binary logistic regression was used to assess associated factors of malnutrition.
A total of 2323 participants (aged ≥ 60 years) with physical functional dependency in five provinces in China were enrolled using a multistage cluster sampling scheme.
The prevalence of malnutrition was 17·9 % (95 % CI 16·3, 19·4). Multivariable binary logistic regression revealed the independent risk factors of poor nutrition status were being female, older age, lower educational status, poor hearing, poor physical functional status, lack of hobbies, low religious participation, poor social support, lack of social participation and changes in social participation. The study found that the most significant independent risk factor for malnutrition was complete physical functional dependence (OR 4·46, 95 % CI 2·92, 6·82).
The findings of the study confirm that malnutrition and the risk of malnutrition are prevalent in Chinese older adults with physical functional dependency. In addition to demographic and physical health-related factors, psychosocial factors, which are often overlooked, are independently associated with nutrition status in Chinese older adults with physical functional dependency. A holistic approach should be adopted to screen for malnutrition and develop health promotion interventions in this vulnerable population.
To investigate the association of folic acid (FA) supplementation with birth weight, the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) and low birth weight (LBW) in singleton and twin pregnancy.
A population-based cross-sectional survey.
Twenty counties and ten districts in Shaanxi Province of northwestern China, 2013.
28 174 pregnant women with their infants, covering 27 818 single live births and 356 twin live births.
The prevalence of FA supplementation in singletons and twins was 63·9 and 66·3 %. The mean birth weight was 3267 (sd 459·1) g, 2525 (sd 534·0) g and 2494 (sd 539·5) g; the prevalence of SGA was 14·3, 51·4 and 53·4 %; the prevalence of LBW was 3·4, 42·4 and 46·6 % among singleton, twin A and twin B, respectively. Compared with non-users, women with FA supplementation were (β 17·3, 95 % CI 6·1, 28·4; β 166·3, 95 % CI 69·1, 263·5) associated with increased birth weight, lower risk of SGA (OR 0·85, 95 % CI 0·80, 0·92; OR 0·45, 95 % CI 0·30, 0·68) and LBW (OR 0·82, 95 % CI 0·71, 0·95; OR 0·50, 95 % CI 0·33, 0·75) in singletons and twins, and more prominent effects in twins. Moreover, there were significant interactions between FA supplementation and plurality on birth weight, SGA and LBW.
The present study suggests the association of periconceptional 0·4 mg/d FA supplementation with increased birth weight and reduced risk of SGA and LBW in both singletons and twins, and this association may be more prominent in twins.
Varicella is an acute respiratory infectious diseases, with high transmissibility and quick dissemination. In this study, an SEIR (susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered) dynamic model was established to explore the optimal prevention and control measures according to the epidemiological characteristics about varicella outbreak in a school in a central city of China. Berkeley Madonna 8.3.18 and Microsoft Office Excel 2010 software were employed for the model simulation and data management, respectively. The result showed that the simulated result of SEIR model agreed well with the reported data when β (infected rate) equal to 0.067. Models showed that the cumulative number of cases was only 13 when isolation adopted when the infected individuals were identified (assuming isolation rate was up to 100%); the cumulative number of cases was only two and the TAR (total attack rate) was 0.56% when the vaccination coefficient reached 50%. The cumulative number of cases did not change significantly with the change of efficiency of ventilation and disinfection, but the peak time was delayed; when δ (vaccination coefficient) = 0.1, m (ventilation efficiency) = 0.7 or δ = 0.2, m = 0.5 or δ = 0.3, m = 0.1 or δ = 0.4 and above, the cumulative number of cases would reduce to one case and TAR would reduce to 0.28% with combined interventions. Varicella outbreak in school could be controlled through strict isolation or vaccination singly; combined interventions have been adopted when the vaccination coefficient was low.
Few studies have investigated the association between maternal dietary patterns (DP) during pregnancy, derived from reduced-rank regression (RRR), and fetal growth. This study aims to identify DP during pregnancy associated with macro- and micronutrient intakes, using the RRR method, and to examine their relationship with birth weight (BW). We used data of 7194 women from a large-scale cross-sectional survey in Northwest China. Dietary protein, carbohydrate, haem Fe density and the ratio of PUFA and MUFA:SFA were used as the intermediate variables in the RRR model to extract DP. Generalised estimating equation models were applied to evaluate the associations between DP and BW and related outcomes (including BW z-score, low birth weight (LBW) and small for gestational age (SGA)). Four DP during pregnancy were identified. Socio-demographically disadvantaged pregnant women were more likely to have lower BW and lower adherence to DP1 (high legumes, soyabean products, vegetables and animal-source foods, with relative low wheat and oils). Women with medium and high adherence to DP1 had significantly increased BW (medium 28·6 (95 % CI 7·1, 50·1); high 25·2 (95 % CI 2·7, 47·6)) and BW z-score and had significantly reduced risks of LBW and SGA. The associations were stronger among women with babies <3100 g. There is no association between other DP and outcomes. Higher adherence to the DP that was high in legumes, soyabean products, vegetables and animal-source foods was associated with improved BW in the Chinese pregnant women, particularly among those with disadvantageous socio-demographic conditions.
We conducted a survey of 16,914 patients to determine the point prevalence of healthcare-associated catheter-associated urinary tract infection (HA-CAUTI) and urinary catheter care in public hospitals in Hong Kong. Overall HA-CAUTI prevalence was 0.27%. Compliance was generally good, except for documenting the date of planned removal and securing the catheter properly.
To evaluate the effects of gestational weight gain (GWG) in the first trimester (GWG-F) and the rate of gestational weight gain in the second trimester (RGWG-S) on gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), exploring the optimal GWG ranges for the avoidance of GDM in Chinese women.
A population-based prospective study was conducted. Gestational weight was measured regularly in every antenatal visit and assessed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) criteria (2009). GDM was assessed with the 75-g, 2-h oral glucose tolerance test at 24–28 weeks of gestation. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess the effects of GWG-F and RGWG-S on GDM, stratified by pre-pregnancy BMI. In each BMI category, the GWG values corresponding to the lowest prevalence of GDM were defined as the optimal GWG range.
Pregnant women (n 1910) in 2017.
After adjusting for confounders, GWG-F above IOM recommendations increased the risk of GDM (OR; 95 % CI) among underweight (2·500; 1·106, 5·655), normal-weight (1·396; 1·023, 1·906) and overweight/obese women (3·017; 1·118, 8·138) compared with women within IOM recommendations. No significant difference was observed between RGWG-S and GDM (P > 0·05) after adjusting for GWG-F based on the previous model. The optimal GWG-F ranges for the avoidance of GDM were 0·8–1·2, 0·8–1·2 and 0·35–0·70 kg for underweight, normal-weight and overweight/obese women, respectively.
Excessive GWG in the first trimester, rather than the second trimester, is associated with increased risk of GDM regardless of pre-pregnancy BMI. Obstetricians should provide more pre-emptive guidance in achieving adequate GWG-F.
We aimed to comprehensively examine the association of breast-feeding, types and initial timing of complementary foods with adolescent cognitive development in low- and middle-income countries. We conducted a prospective cohort study of 745 adolescents aged 10–12 years who were born to women who participated in a randomised trial of prenatal micronutrient supplementation in rural Western China. An infant feeding index was constructed based on the current WHO recommendations. Full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) was assessed and derived by the fourth edition of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. The duration of exclusive or any breast-feeding was not significantly associated with adolescent cognitive development. Participants who regularly consumed Fe-rich or Fe-fortified foods during 6–23 months of age had higher FSIQ than those who did not (adjusted mean differences 4·25; 95 % CI 1·99, 6·51). For cows’/goats’ milk and high protein-based food, the highest FSIQ was found in participants who initially consumed at 10–12 and 7–9 months, respectively. A strong dose–response relationship of the composite infant feeding index was also identified, with participants in the highest tertile of overall feeding quality having 3·03 (95 % CI 1·37, 4·70) points higher FSIQ than those in the lowest tertile. These findings suggest that appropriate infant feeding practices (breast-feeding plus timely introduction of appropriate complementary foods) were associated with significantly improved early adolescent cognitive development scores in rural China. In addition, improvement in Fe-rich or Fe-fortified foods complementary feeding may produce better adolescent cognitive development outcomes.
Synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) is an abundant and important presynaptic vesicle protein that binds Ca2+ for the regulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Our previous study reported its localization and function on spindle assembly in mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. The present study was designed to investigate the function of Syt1 during mouse oocyte activation and subsequent cortical granule exocytosis (CGE) using confocal microscopy, morpholinol-based knockdown and time-lapse live cell imaging. By employing live cell imaging, we first studied the dynamic process of CGE and calculated the time interval between [Ca2+]i rise and CGE after oocyte activation. We further showed that Syt1 was co-localized to cortical granules (CGs) at the oocyte cortex. After oocyte activation with SrCl2, the Syt1 distribution pattern was altered significantly, similar to the changes seen for the CGs. Knockdown of Syt1 inhibited [Ca2+]i oscillations, disrupted the F-actin distribution pattern and delayed the time of cortical reaction. In summary, as a synaptic vesicle protein and calcium sensor for exocytosis, Syt1 acts as an essential regulator in mouse oocyte activation events including the generation of Ca2+ signals and CGE.
Rational construction of Z-scheme photocatalysts and exploration of the Z-scheme charge transfer mechanism have drawn much attention in the field of CO2 reduction because of its great potential to alleviate energy crisis and environmental problems. In this study, a series of Z-scheme CdS/BiOI composites were constructed by depositing CdS nanoparticles on the surface of BiOI nanosheets. The synthesized materials were characterized comprehensively, and their photoreduction CO2 activities were evaluated. The results show that the composites exhibit higher photoreduction CO2 activity under visible light irradiation (λ > 400 nm) than pure CdS and BiOI. The yields of CO and CH4 for the optimal composite after 3 h irradiation are 3.32 and 0.54 μmol/g, respectively. The improved photocatalytic activity is attributed to Z-scheme transfer mode of the photogenerated charges in the composites. The mechanism of CO2 reduction is proposed and verified experimentally.
Prior data on long-term association between legume consumption and hypertension risk are sparse. We aimed to evaluate whether total legume and subtype intakes prospectively associate with hypertension incidence among 8758 participants (≥30 years) from the China Health and Nutrition Survey 2004–2011. Diet was assessed by interviews combining 3-d 24-h food recalls and household food inventory weighing at each survey round. Incident hypertension was identified by self-reports or blood pressure measurements. We applied multivariable Cox regressions to estimate hazard ratios (HR) with corresponding 95 % CI for hypertension across increasing categories of cumulatively averaged legume intakes. For 35 990 person-years (median 6·0 years apiece), we documented 944 hypertension cases. After covariate adjustment, higher total legume intakes were significantly associated with lower hypertension risks, with HR comparing extreme categories being 0·56 (95 % CI 0·43, 0·71; Ptrend < 0·001). Then we found that intakes of dried legumes (HR 0·53 (95 % CI 0·43, 0·65); Ptrend < 0·001) and fresh legumes (HR 0·67 (95 % CI 0·55, 0·81); Ptrend < 0·001) were both related to decreased hypertension hazards. However, further dried legume classification revealed that negative association with hypertension substantially held for soyabean (HR 0·51 (95 % CI 0·41, 0·62); Ptrend < 0·001) but not non-soyabean intakes. In stratified analyses, the association of interest remained similar within strata by sex, BMI, physical activity, smoking and drinking status; rather, significant heterogeneity showed across age strata (Pinteraction = 0·02). Total legume consumption among the over-65s was related to a more markedly reduced hypertension risk (HR 0·47 (95 % CI 0·30, 0·73); Ptrend < 0·001). Our findings suggest an inverse association of all kinds of legume (except non-soyabean) intakes with hypertension risks.
Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
Malnutrition and acute kidney injury (AKI) are common complications in hospitalised patients, and both increase mortality; however, the relationship between them is unknown. This is a retrospective propensity score matching study enrolling 46 549 inpatients, aimed to investigate the association between Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS-2002) and AKI and to assess the ability of NRS-2002 and AKI in predicting prognosis. In total, 37 190 (80 %) and 9359 (20 %) patients had NRS-2002 scores <3 and ≥3, respectively. Patients with NRS-2002 scores ≥3 had longer lengths of stay (12·6 (sd 7·8) v. 10·4 (sd 6·2) d, P < 0·05), higher mortality rates (9·6 v. 2·5 %, P < 0·05) and higher incidence of AKI (28 v. 16 %, P < 0·05) than patients with normal nutritional status. The NRS-2002 showed a strong association with AKI, that is, the risk of AKI changed in parallel with the score of the NRS-2002. In short- and long-term survival, patients with a lower NRS-2002 score or who did not have AKI achieved a significantly lower risk of mortality than those with a high NRS-2002 score or AKI. Univariate Cox regression analyses indicated that both the NRS-2002 and AKI were strongly related to long-term survival (AUC 0·79 and 0·71) and that the combination of the two showed better accuracy (AUC 0·80) than the individual variables. In conclusion, malnutrition can increase the risk of AKI and both AKI and malnutrition can worsen the prognosis that the undernourished patients who develop AKI yield far worse prognosis than patients with normal nutritional status.
The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of glucose, soya oil or glutamine on jejunal morphology, protein metabolism and protein expression of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signalling pathway in jejunal villus or crypt compartment of piglets. Forty-two 21 d-weaned piglets were randomly allotted to one of the three isoenergetic diets formulated with glucose, soya oil or glutamine for 28 d. On day 14 or 28, the proteins in crypt enterocytes were analysed with isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification and proteins involved in mTORC1 signalling pathway in villus or crypt compartment cells were determined by Western blotting. Our results showed no significant differences (P > 0·05) in jejunal morphology among the three treatments on day 14 or 28. The differentially expressed proteins mainly took part in a few network pathways, including antimicrobial or inflammatory response, cell death and survival, digestive system development and function and carbohydrate metabolism. On day 14 or 28, there were higher protein expression of eukaryotic initiation factor-4E binding protein-1 in jejunal crypt compartment of piglets supplemented with glucose or glutamine compared with soya oil. On day 28, higher protein expression of phosphor-mTOR in crypt compartment was observed in piglets supplemented with glucose compared with the soya oil. In conclusion, the isoenergetic glucose, soya oil or glutamine did not affect the jejunal morphology of piglets; however, they had different effects on the protein metabolism in crypt compartment. Compared with soya oil, glucose or glutamine may be better energy supplies for enterocytes in jejunal crypt compartment.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) has spread widely and leads to high disease burden in many countries. However, relative transmissibility from male to female individuals remains unclear. HFMD surveillance database was built in Shenzhen City from 2013 to 2017. An intersex transmission susceptible–infectious–recovered model was developed to calculate the transmission relative rate among male individuals, among female individuals, from male to female and from female to male. Two indicators, ratio of transmission relative rate (Rβ) and relative transmissibility index (RTI), were developed to assess the relative transmissibility of male vs. female. During the study period, 270 347 HFMD cases were reported in the city, among which 16 were death cases with a fatality of 0.0059%. Reported incidence of total cases, male cases and female cases was 0.0057 (range: 0.0036–0.0058), 0.0052 (range: 0.0032–0.0053) and 0.0044 (range: 0.0026–0.0047), respectively. The difference was statistically significant between male and female (t = 3.046, P = 0.002). Rβ of male vs. female, female vs. female, from female to male vs. female and from male to female vs. female was 7.69, 1.00, 1.74 and 7.13, respectively. RTI of male vs. female, female vs. female, from female to male vs. female and from male to female vs. female was 3.08, 1.00, 1.88 and 1.43, respectively. Transmissibility of HFMD is different between male and female individuals. Male cases seem to be more transmissible than female.
The effect of maternal folate intake on small-for-gestational-age (SGA) births remains inconclusive. The present study aimed to investigate the associations of maternal folate intake from diet and supplements with the risk of SGA births using data from a cross-sectional study in Shaanxi Province of Northwest China. A total of 7307 women who were within 12 months (median 3; 10th–90th percentile 0–7) after delivery were included. Two-level models were adopted to examine the associations of folate (dietary folate, supplemental folic acid and total folate) intake with the risk of SGA births and birth weight Z score, controlling for a minimum set of confounders that were identified in a directed acyclic graph. Results showed that a higher supplemental folic acid intake during the first trimester was negatively associated with the risk of SGA births (≤60 d v. non-use: OR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·96; >60 d v. non-use: OR 0·78; 95 % CI 0·65, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per 10-d increase: OR 0·97; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·99). A higher total folate intake during pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of SGA births (highest tertile v. lowest tertile: OR 0·77; 95 % CI 0·64, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per one-unit increase in the log-transformed value: OR 0·81; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·95). A similar pattern was observed for the birth weight Z score. Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation during the first trimester and a higher total folate intake during pregnancy were associated with a reduced risk of SGA births.