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Patient News

Commencement of omega-3 status testing

30 March 2021

SA Pathology is proud to partner with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), providing vital testing to reduce the incidence of premature births in South Australia.

From 19 April, SA Pathology will begin testing omega-3 levels for women with single baby pregnancies, with the data informing a world-leading study assessing the efficacy of omega-3 supplementation in reducing early preterm births. Testing is provided at no cost, and patients may opt-out of the statewide evaluation of the screening program without affecting the provision of care.

The latest National Health and Medical Research Council and Department of Health National Pregnancy Care guidelines recommend assessing omega-3 fatty acid status and supplementing pregnant women with low omega-3 intakes to reduce the risk of early preterm birth.

  • Pregnant women with a low omega-3 status, less than 3.7%, are recommended to take omega-3 fatty acid supplements from less than 20 to 37 weeks to reduce the risk of early preterm birth.
  • Women in the moderate range, 3.7 - 4.3%, are not required to take a supplement however if already taking supplements may continue to do so.
  • Women with sufficient omega-3, above 4.3%, are at a low risk of early preterm birth and additional omega-3 supplementation may increase this risk.

For further information about omega-3 testing and results interpretation, please visit www.sahmri.org/omega3.

To order the maternal serum screening test request forms, please call the SAMSAS Program on (08) 8161 7285.