Understanding health behaviours in a cohort of pregnant women at risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: an observational study

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Abstract

Objective To investigate associations between early pregnancy homocysteine, folate and vitamin B12 concentrations and placental weight, birthweight and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Design Population-based birth cohort study. Setting Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Population Cohort of 5805 pregnant women. Methods To analyse homocysteine, folate and vitamin B12 concentrations, blood was drawn in early pregnancy. These concentrations were divided into quintiles. Information on birth outcomes was retrieved from medical records. Multivariate regression analyses were used. Main outcome measures Placental weight, birthweight, small for gestational age at birth (SGA) (< 5th centile), prematurity and preeclampsia. Results High homocysteine concentrations (highest quintile) were associated with lower placental weight (difference 30 g; P < 0.001) and birthweight (difference 110 g; P < 0.001), and increased risk of SGA [ odds ratio (OR) 1.7; P = 0.006] compared with lowest quintile (reference). Low folate concentrations (lowest quintile) were associated with lower placental weight (difference 26 g; P = 0.001) and birthweight (difference 125 g; P < 0.001), and increased risks of SGA (OR 1.9; P = 0.002), prematurity (OR 2.2; P = 0.002) and pre-eclampsia (OR 2.1; P = 0.04) compared with highest quintile (reference). The risk of developing SGA and preeclampsia was substantially higher in women who had higher homocysteine and lower folate concentrations. No associations were found with vitamin B12. Conclusions Higher homocysteine and lower folate concentrations in early pregnancy are associated with lower placental weight and birthweight, and higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. These findings suggest that high homocysteine and low folate concentrations in early pregnancy may adversely influence placentation and subsequently affect the success of pregnancy and birth outcomes.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)739-751
Number of pages13
JournalBjog-An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume119
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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