An observational study to find association of serum vitamin B12 and folate level with neonatal weight at a tertiary care centre

Ankita Chaudhary, Saloni Sethi, Gayatri Mahawar, Premlata Mital, Aditi Arora, Vikash Kumari Kasana, Sakshi Bansal, Bhawani Kala


Background: In developing countries like India, low birth weight is a challenging and important public health problem as it has adverse effect on growth and development of children. Vitamin B12 and folate are micronutrients essential for normal foetal growth and development. Maternal folate and B12 concentrations have been positively associated with birth weight. The aim of this study was to evaluate maternal folate and vitamin B12 status in pregnant women in third trimester of pregnancy and to find their relation with foetal birth weight.

Methods: 171 pregnant women in their third trimester with live singleton pregnancy were included in the study. S. vitamin B12 and folate levels were measured and results were analysed.

Results: Mean maternal vitamin B12 level in mothers with LBW infants was significantly lower than that of mothers of ABW infants (143.23±91.79 vs 188.8±109.64 respectively p≤0.001) and mean maternal folate level in mothers with LBW infants was lower than that of mothers of ABW infants (8.46±8.94 vs 9.96±12.57 respectively p=0.054). There was a weak positive but statistically significant correlation between baby weight (kg) and S. vitamin B12 (rho=0.24, p=0.002) and S. folate (rho=0.17, p=0.029).

Conclusions: The present study confirms that maternal low vitamin B12 level and low S. folate levels are associated with low birth weight so during antenatal visit women should be screened for vitamin B12 and folate deficiency and vitamin supplementation should be continued throughout the pregnancy.


Neonatal outcome, Vitamin B12, Folic acid, Birth weight

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