Maternal folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels in pregnancies affected by congenital malformations other than neural tube defects.
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:Sutton M, Mills JL, Molloy AM, Troendle JF, Brody LC, Conley M, Mc Donnell R, Scott JM, Kirke PN., Maternal folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels in pregnancies affected by congenital malformations other than neural tube defects., Birth Defects Research A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology, 91, 7, 2011, 610 - 615
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Background— Periconceptional use of folic acid prevents most neural tube defects (NTDs). Whether folic acid and/or multivitamins can prevent other congenital anomalies is not clear. This study tested whether maternal blood levels of folate and vitamin B12 in pregnancies affected by congenital malformations excluding NTDs are lower when compared to non-affected pregnancies. Methods— We measured pregnancy red cell folate (RCF), vitamin B12, and homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations in blood samples taken at the first antenatal clinic in Dublin maternity hospitals in 1986–1990 when vitamin supplementation was rare. The cases were mothers who delivered a baby with a congenital malformation other than NTD identified by the Dublin EUROCAT Registry; controls were a systematic sample of mothers of offspring without congenital malformations from the same hospitals in the same time period. Results— The median maternal levels of RCF and tHcy did not differ significantly between cases and controls for any of the congenital malformation groups examined (RCF: all malformations 275.9 ug/L v controls 271.2; p=0.77; tHcy: all malformations 7.5 umol/L v controls 7.6; p=0.57). In an unadjusted analysis vitamin B12 was significantly higher in case-mothers whose babies had cleft palate only (p=0.006), musculoskeletal malformations (p=0.034) and midline defects (p=0.039) but not after adjustment for multiple testing. Conclusions— Our data suggest that low maternal folate and B12 levels or high tHcy levels in early pregnancy are not associated with all congenital malformations excluding NTDs. Fortification with folic acid or B12 may not have a beneficial effect in the prevention of these anomalies.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Health Research Board (HRB)
Type of material:Journal Article
Series/Report no:Birth Defects Research A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology
Availability:Full text available
Subject (TCD):International Development