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Maternal Homocysteine Does Not Predict Low Birth Weight

Study finds no association between maternal B vitamin levels and birth weight

FRIDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal levels of homocysteine and related B vitamins in late pregnancy have no association with birth weight, according to a study in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Marije Hogeveen, M.D., of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a prospective study in which they analyzed blood samples of pregnant women from 30 to 34 weeks of gestation and their infants.

Although univariate analysis showed an inverse relationship between maternal total homocysteine levels and birth weight, this disappeared after adjustment for smoking and in multivariate analysis. While smoking, gestational age, female sex, and parity were found to be strong determinants of birth weight in regression analysis, the researchers found that maternal levels of homocysteine, cobalamin, folate, and methylmalonic acid were not significantly associated with birth weight.

"We focused on maternal concentrations because our aim was to explore possible treatable risk factors for low birth weight. Maternal total homocysteine, folate, cobalamin, and methylmalonic acid concentrations were not associated significantly with birth weight," the authors write.

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