Homocysteine, red cell, and plasma folate concentrations and birth weight in Italian women: Results from a prospective study

Fabio Parazzini, Francesca Chiaffarino, Elena Ricci, Lucio Improta, Giovanni Monni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective. A prospective cohort study conducted in Italy on homocysteine and red cell folate levels in pregnancy and pregnancy outcome. Methods. A cohort of pregnant women was identified in 21 Italian obstetric centers. Women were eligible at 8th-10th week of gestation. All women were followed up to delivery in order to collect information on pregnancy outcome and birth weight (BW). Results. Two hundred forty-four women were included in the analysis. In women not reporting current use of folate at study entry, the median homocysteine levels (μmol/l) were 7.9, 8.1, and 8.5 at the 8th-10th, 16th, and 22nd week of gestation, respectively; the median red cells folate levels (nmol/dl) were 3.9, 6.1, and 7.0. The mean BW tended to be lower in the 2nd and 3rd tertile of homocysteine levels in comparison with the 1st tertile (p <0.05 at the 8th-10th and 22nd week). The mean week of gestation at birth was higher in subjects in the 2nd and 3rd tertile of red cell folate at the 8th-10th and 16th week of gestation. Conclusion. This study estimated homocysteine and plasma folate levels in Italian pregnant women and suggested that homocysteine level was associated with BW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-431
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Keywords

  • birth weight
  • folate
  • gestational week
  • homocysteine
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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