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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hyperhomocysteinemia, pregnancy complications, and the timing of investigation.

OBJECTIVE: To assess associations between vitamin-dependent homocysteine metabolism and vascular-related pregnancy complications by considering interval between delivery and postpartum investigation and maternal age. METHODS: Case-control study performed at the University Medical Center Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Patients had experienced pregnancy-induced hypertension (n = 37), preeclampsia (n = 144), hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets (HELLP) syndrome (n = 104), recurrent early pregnancy loss (n = 544), abruptio placentae (n = 135), intrauterine growth restriction (n = 144), or intrauterine fetal death (n = 104). Controls comprised 176 women with uncomplicated obstetric histories. Oral methionine loading tests and fasting vitamin profiles were performed more than 6 weeks after delivery. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated after logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Hyperhomocysteinemia was associated with an approximately 2-fold to 3-fold increased risk for pregnancy-induced hypertension, abruptio placentae, and intrauterine growth restriction. Cobalamin deficiency was associated with HELLP syndrome, abruptio placentae, intrauterine growth restriction, and intrauterine fetal death. Pyridoxal 5-phosphate deficiency increased the risk for pregnancy-induced hypertension 4-fold. These associations lost their significance after adjustment for time interval and maternal age. High red cell folate was associated with a decreased risk for abruptio placentae and intrauterine growth restriction. An increased creatinine concentration was associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and abruptio placentae. CONCLUSION: Hyperhomocysteinemia and vitamin deficiencies are largely determined by the interval between delivery and postpartum investigation and by maternal age. Time interval and maternal age should be considered in the risk estimation for vascular-related pregnancy complications.[1]


  1. Hyperhomocysteinemia, pregnancy complications, and the timing of investigation. Steegers-Theunissen, R.P., Van Iersel, C.A., Peer, P.G., Nelen, W.L., Steegers, E.A. Obstetrics and gynecology. (2004) [Pubmed]
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