To estimate the average serum values of vitamin B12 and folate in women with a term pregnancy and the cord blood of their newborns. To find if any correlation exists between the levels of serum B12 and folate in the mother and that of the neonate.
Materials and methods
A prospective observational study of serum B12 and folate levels and the respective cord blood concentrations of 51 term, nonanemic, pregnant women and in the cord blood of their newborns at delivery.
Fifteen women were B12 deficient (29.4%) with the mean being 189.25 ± 94.2 ng/mL and 14 neonates were B12 deficient (27.45%) with their mean being 321.86 ± 143.68 ng/mL. One woman was folate deficient (1.96%) with the mean being 13.13 ± 5.15 ng/mL and one neonate was folate deficient (1.96%) with the mean being 15.68 ± 4.61 ng/mL. There was a significant correlation between maternal and neonatal B12 levels with a Pearson's coefficient of 0.74 (p-value of < 0.01) and a significant correlation between maternal and neonatal folate levels with a Pearson's coefficient of 0.44 (p-value of < 0.01).
There is a high incidence of maternal B12 deficiency in the Indian community, which has a positive correlation with neonatal levels. Treatment of B12 and folate deficiency should be a part of routine antenatal treatment, and neonates should be followed up and treated if found to be B12 or folate deficient.
In India, where large numbers of women are anemic, deficiency of vitamin B12 and folate is overlooked when treatment of anemia is undertaken in most hospitals. In addition, women with undetected and subclinical deficiency may transmit it to their newborns with a cycle that is self-perpetuating unless broken with adequate intake or supplementation.
How to cite this article
Krishnaswamy PH, Prabhu S, Pandith NA, Shetty A. Serum Vitamin B12 and Folate Levels in Mothers and their Newborns: An Observational Study. J Postgrad Med Edu Res 2016;50(4):190-193.