Background: To evaluate vitamin B12 and folate status in pregnancy and their relationship with maternal obesity, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), and offspring birthweight. Methods: A retrospective case-control study of 344 women (143 GDM, 201 no-GDM) attending a district general hospital and that had B12 and folate levels measured in the early 3rd trimester was performed. Maternal history including early pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and neonatal data (birthweight, sex, and gestational age) was recorded for all subjects. Results: 26% of the cohort had B12 levels <150 pmol/L (32% vs. 22% in the two groups respectively, p
< 0.05) while 1.5% were folate deficient. After adjusting for confounders, 1st trimester BMI was negatively associated with 3rd trimester B12 levels. Women with B12 insufficiency had higher odds of obesity and GDM (aOR (95% CI) 2.40 (1.31, 4.40), p
= 0.004, and 2.59 (1.35, 4.98), p
= 0.004, respectively), although the latter was partly mediated by BMI. In women without GDM, the lowest quartile of B12 and highest quartile of folate had significantly higher adjusted risk of fetal macrosomia (RR 5.3 (1.26, 21.91), p
= 0.02 and 4.99 (1.15, 21.62), p
= 0.03 respectively). Conclusion: This is the first study from the UK to show that maternal B12 levels are associated with BMI, risk of GDM, and additionally may have an independent effect on macrosomia. Due to the increasing burden of maternal obesity and GDM, longitudinal studies with B12 measurements in early pregnancy are needed to explore this link.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited