AbstractObjectiveTo determine the effect of integrated and concurrent delivery of health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH), and psychosocial care interventions during the preconception period alone, during pregnancy and early childhood, and throughout preconception, pregnancy, and early childhood on birth outcomes and linear growth at 24 months of age compared with routine care.DesignIndividually randomised factorial trial.SettingLow and middle income neighbourhoods of Delhi, India.Participants13 500 women were randomised to receive preconception interventions (n=6722) or routine care (n=6778). 2652 and 2269 pregnant women were randomised again to receive pregnancy and early childhood interventions or routine care. The analysis of birth outcomes included 1290 live births for the preconception, pregnancy, and early childhood interventions (group A), 1276 for the preconception intervention (group B), 1093 for the pregnancy and early childhood interventions (group C), and 1093 for the control (group D). Children aged 24 months by 30 June 2021 were included in the 24 month outcome analysis (453 in group A, 439 in B, 293 in C, and 271 in D).InterventionsHealth, nutrition, psychosocial care and support, and WaSH interventions were delivered during preconception, pregnancy, and early childhood periods.Main outcome measuresThe primary outcomes were low birth weight, small for gestational age, preterm, and mean birth weight. At 24 months, the outcomes were mean length-for-age z scores and proportion stunted. Three prespecified comparisons were made: preconception intervention groups (A+B) versus no preconception intervention groups (C+D); pregnancy and early childhood intervention groups (A+C) versus routine care during pregnancy and early childhood (B+D) and preconception, pregnancy, and early childhood interventions groups (A) versus control group (D).ResultsThe proportion with low birth weight was lower in the preconception intervention groups (506/2235) than in the no preconception intervention groups (502/1889; incidence rate ratio 0.85, 98.3% confidence interval 0.75 to 0.97; absolute risk reduction −3.80%, 98.3% confidence interval −6.99% to −0.60%). The proportion with low birth weight was lower in the pregnancy intervention groups (502/2096) than in the no pregnancy intervention groups (506/2028) but the upper limit of the confidence interval crossed null effect (0.87, 0.76 to 1.01; −1.71%, −4.96% to 1.54%). There was a larger effect on proportion with low birth weight in the group that received interventions in the preconception and pregnancy periods (267/1141) compared with the control group (267/934; 0.76, 0.62 to 0.91; −5.59%, −10.32% to −0.85%). The proportion stunted at 24 months of age was substantially lower in the pregnancy and early childhood intervention groups (79/746) compared with the groups that did not receive these interventions (136/710; 0.51, 0.38 to 0.70; −8.32%, −12.31% to −4.32%), and in the group that received preconception, pregnancy, and early childhood interventions (47/453) compared with the control group (51/271; 0.49, 0.32 to 0.75; −7.98%, −14.24% to −1.71%). No effect on stunting at 24 months was observed in the preconception intervention groups (132/892) compared with the no preconception intervention groups (83/564).ConclusionsAn intervention package delivered during preconception, pregnancy, and early childhood substantially reduced low birth weight and stunting at 24 months. Pregnancy and early childhood interventions alone had lower but important effects on birth outcomes and 24 month outcomes. Preconception interventions alone had an important effect on birth outcomes but not on 24 month outcomes.Trial registrationClinical Trial Registry—India CTRI/2017/06/008908.

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