Hyperhomocysteinemia and low vitamin B12 are associated with the risk of early pregnancy loss

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One-carbon metabolism is crucial for the maintenance of healthy pregnancy and alterations in this pathway have been associated with various pregnancy-related complications. Therefore, the present study was conducted to test the hypothesis that altered folic acid, vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels are associated with the risk of early pregnancy loss (EPL). Plasma folic acid, vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels were analyzed in 83 females with EPL and 70 healthy pregnant females in their first trimester.

Further, meta-analyses of folic acid, vitamin B12 and homocysteine were also performed involving various eligible studies. Results from the case-control study and meta-analysis showed that folic acid deficiency is not associated with the risk of EPL. On the other hand, low vitamin B12 and hyperhomocysteinemia were individually found to be significant risk factors for EPL in the present study.

Vitamin B12 deficiency in combination with hyperhomocysteinemia was a more serious risk factor for EPL (Odds Ratio = 4.98, P = 0.002). Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency and elevated homocysteine levels are independent risk factors for EPL, and are of higher risk when combined. The assessment of vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels may serve as a good screening marker for EPL risk.

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