Abstract

Introduction: Increased plasma homocysteine may be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preeclampsia. The aim of this study was to determine the plasma homocysteine, serum folate, and vitamin B12 levels in preeclamptic pregnant women.

Methods: This case-control study was conducted in 2016 in Ahwaz on 51 pregnant women with preeclampsia and 51 healthy pregnant women of the same gestational age, who served as controls. The case group also was subdivided into severe and non-severe preeclampsia. Patients’ data were collected through a questionnaire and medical records. Serum homocysteine, folic acid, and vitamin B12 were analyzed using chemiluminescent assay. The results were compared between two groups. Statistical analyses were done using IBM-SPSS 20.0. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, independent samples t-test, Mann-Whitney test, and Chi-square test were used for data analysis.

Results: No different demographic characteristics were found among the groups. Pregnant women complicated with preeclampsia displayed significantly higher serum homocysteine levels (p < 0.001) and lower serum folate (p = 0.005) and vitamin B12 levels (p < 0.001) compared to controls. A statistically significant inverse correlation was evident between serum homocysteine and serum folate levels in preeclamptic patients (p = 0.005; r = -0.389). In addition, an inverse correlation was identified between homocysteine and serum vitamin B12, but it was not statistically significant (p = 0.160; r = -0.200). Significant differences occurred in serum homocysteine and folate levels between the severe and non-severe subgroups (p < 0.001, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Women complicated with preeclampsia displayed higher maternal serum homocysteine and lower serum folate and vitamin B12. Further studies are needed to confirm if the prescription of folic acid and vitamin B12 in women with a deficiency of these vitamins could decrease the level of serum homocysteine and, therefore, reduce the risk of preeclampsia or, if it occurred, its severity.

 

Keywords: Homocysteine, Folic acid, Vitamin B12, Preeclampsia
 
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