Study Spotlight

Study Spotlight

Elevated Maternal Homocysteine Levels Linked to Small-for-Gestational Age Newborns


In a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies analyzing the association between maternal total Homocysteine (tHcy) status and newborn birth weight, the authors found a small increased risk of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) newborns (which has been associated with increased risks of poor cognitive function, cardiovascular diseases, neonatal morbidity and mortality) associated with elevated tHcy levels in the mothers. Results from 29 studies involving 21,326 subjects were analyzed, and results of pooled analysis found a crude OR of 1.25, and when expressed as a linear effect, it corresponded to a decrease in birth weight of 31 g, for every 1-SD increase in maternal tHcy. The authors state, "The small estimated birth weight difference might be of little clinical relevance for the individual newborn; however, it could be of greater importance at a population level."

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