Background: Folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 are required for homocysteine metabolism
and their deficiency can result in increased homocysteine concentration. Homocysteine concentrations
have been found to be increased in late pregnancy toward nonpregnant values.
Objective: To study folate, vitamin B12
and homocysteine levels in cord blood and maternal blood in
Materials and Methods: One hundred fifty pregnant women attending Out Patient Department of
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology were recruited for the study. Grouped as: GROUP I (control):
Fifty normotensive women with singleton pregnancy immediately after delivery; GROUP II (study): Fifty
(age and gestation matched women with singleton pregnancy) women with preeclampsia immediately
after delivery; GROUP III (study): Fifty normotensive pregnant women were recruited in first trimester
(8-12 weeks) that were followed in second (24-28 weeks) and third trimester (32-36 weeks).
Homocysteine, vitamin B12
and folic acid levels were investigated by competitive immunoassay using
direct chemiluminiscence technology.
Results: Homocysteine and folic acid levels were higher in maternal blood of hypertensive pregnant
women as compared to normotensive pregnant women (p<0.001, p>0.05 respectively). Vitamin B12
levels were lower in maternal blood of hypertensive pregnant women as compared to normotensive
pregnant women. Levels of homocysteine were higher in cord blood of hypertensive pregnant women as
compared to normotensive pregnant women (p<0.01). Levels of vitamin B12
and folic acid was lower in
cord blood of preeclamptic women as compared to normotensive pregnant women (p<0.001, p<0.01
respectively). A negative correlation was found between homocysteine and folic acid levels of mothers in
group II that was statistically significant.
Conclusion: Elevated homocysteine and folate and vitamin B12
deficiency during pregnancy may be a
risk factor for preeclampsia and future risk of cardiovascular risk.