Korean J Obstet Gynecol.  2003 Aug;46(8):1549-1555.

The Comparison of Pregnant and Non-pregnant Women for Homocysteine, Vitamin B12 Levels and the Study of Factors Effecting on Homocysteine, Vitamin B12

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, Ewha Woman's University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Food and Nutritional Science, Ewha Woman's University, Seoul, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to compare with pregnant and non-pregnant women for homocysteine and vitamin B12 and to determine effecting factors on serum homocysteine and vitamin B12 level.
From March 2001 to February 2002, 202 pregnant (24-28 wks) women and 237 non- pregnant women were included in this study. Blood sample for homocysteine, vitamin B12, folate and questionaires about life style and nutrition were done. Homocysteine was measured by HPLC and vitamin B12, folate were measured by RIA. RESULT: Concentrations (mean+/-8D) of homocysteine and vitamin B12 in pregnant women were 8.2+/-3.1 micromol/L, 449.4+/-212.3 pg/ml, and in non-pregnant women were 12.5+/-6.3 micromol/L, 1017.1+/-296.8 pg/ml, respectively. Risk group of homocysteine was 6.5% in pregnant women (n=12/185), and 26.4% in non- pregnant women (n=57/216). In pregnant women, homocysteine have a negative correlation with folate, vitamin B12 (p<0.05). Non- pregnant women were divided to three groups (smoker, ever been smoker but stop smoking now, non- smoker) and concentrations of homocysteine were 13.6+/-7.0, 13.0+/-6.7, 11.9+/-7.6 micromol/L, respectively. They were divided to two groups (drinker, non-drinker) and concentrations of homocysteine were 12.9+/-7.0, 10.4+/-3.0 micromol/L respectively (p<0.05). Pregnant women who take nutrients have a higher concentration of folate than in women do not (8.8+/-5.1 vs. 7.9+/-3.9 pg/ml, p<0.05).
Homocysteine in women during pregnancy is decreased by about 35% compared with that of non-pregnant women. In pregnant women, as homocysteine increases, as folate and vitamin B12 decrease. Among the non-pregnant women, higher level of homocysteine demonstrated in smokers than in non-smokers and in drinkers than non-drinkers. In pregnant women who take nutrients have a significant higher level of folate than do not, but have no significant relationship in homocysteine level.


Pregnancy; Homocysteine; Vitamin B12; Folate; Effecting factors
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