ORIP

The ORIP Trial (Omega-3 fats to Reduce the Incidence of Prematurity) is a research study that investigated whether taking a fish oil rich in the omega 3 fat, called Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), during pregnancy will help prevent very premature delivery.

It was the largest clinical trial of omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy in the world. The study has finished recruiting and analysis of results is currently taking place.

Principal Investigator

  • Professor Maria Makrides, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute

Co-Investigators

  • Dr Karen Best, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute
  • Professor Robert Gibson, University of Adelaide
  • Dr Andrew McPhee, Women's and Children's Health Network
  • Dr Lisa Yelland, University of Adelaide
  • Professor Julie Quinlivan, Joondalup Health Campus

Project Overview

Most infants are born at term (around 40 weeks of pregnancy) but unfortunately some infants are born prematurely (before 37 weeks of pregnancy). Although we have made tremendous improvements in the care of premature infants there are still many health risks of being born too soon and these risks are greater the earlier the baby is born, particularly in those born very premature (less than 34 weeks).

DHA is found in fish and fish oils and is thought to have a number of health benefits including helping to maintain a pregnancy to full term. We have found evidence to support this when we conducted a study of DHA supplementation in over 2,000 pregnant women to see if DHA supplementation in pregnancy reduced the risk of postnatal depression in women or improved the development of children (the DOMInO trial). We observed that women who took DHA-rich fish oil from 20 weeks until birth had pregnancies that were 1-2 days longer than women in the control group. We also saw that fewer women in the DHA-rich fish oil group gave birth to very premature babies. However, this was offset to some extent by an increase in the number of women who had gone over their due date and were induced or had Caesarean-sections.

In the ORIP trial, we will examine the effects of taking DHA supplements in pregnancy more thoroughly and focus on the rate of preterm birth. We will use the same treatment as in the DOMInO trial, but we will start the supplementation earlier and stop the supplements at 34 weeks gestation. We hope that this can prevent very premature birth without increasing the need intervention by obstetricians because the pregnancy is going beyond the due date.

ORIP Trial Locations

Co-ordinating Site: Child Nutrition Research Centre, South Australia

  • Women’s & Children’s Hospital, North Adelaide, South Australia
  • Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, South Australia
  • Noarlunga Hospital, Noarlunga, South Australia
  • Lyell McEwin Hospital, Elizabeth Vale, South Australia
  • Joondalup Health Campus, Perth, Western Australia
  • Werribee Mercy Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria
  • Mater Mothers' Hospital, South Brisbane, Queensland

Funding

  • National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)

Steering Committee

  • Professor Maria Makrides, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute, Women’s & Children’s Health Research Institute, SA
  • Dr Shao Zhou, Women’s & Children’s Health Research Institute, SA
  • Professor Julie Quinlivan, Joondalup Health Campus, WA
  • Dr Andrew McPhee, Women's and Children's Health Network, SA
  • Dr Lisa Yelland, University of Adelaide, SA
  • Professor Robert Gibson, University of Adelaide, SA
  • Professor Jodie Dodd, University of Adelaide, Women's & Children's Health Network, SA
  • Professor Gus Dekker, University of Adelaide, Northern Adelaide Local Health Network, SA
  • Jacqui van Dam, Werribee Mercy Hospital, Vic
  • Huda Safa, Mater Mothers’ Hospital, Qld

Further Information

For further information please contact one of the ORIP Trial Study Coordinators at: orip@sahmri.com

Media

Listen to Professor Maria Makrides talk about the ORIP Trial.

Contact

Child Nutrition Research Centre: 08 8161 8045

Postal Address

CNRC

Women’s and Children’s Hospital

72 King William Road, North Adelaide, SA 5006

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+61 8 8128 4000 info@sahmri.com
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