Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 113-118

Association between maternal serum homocysteine concentrations in early pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kehinde Sharafadeen Okunade
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Idi-Araba, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_41_19

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Background: There is still conflicting evidence on the extent to which maternal hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for pregnancy complications. Aims: The study aimed to investigate the impact of elevated maternal homocysteine concentrations on adverse pregnancy outcomes among Nigerian women in Lagos. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective cohort study conducted at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria. Participants were enrolled during the first trimester of pregnancy following which relevant data were obtained by the interview. Fasting blood samples were collected for the measurement of maternal homocysteine concentration using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Pregnancy outcomes and complications were obtained by abstracting the antenatal, delivery, and newborn medical records. Preterm births, low-birth weight (LBW), and antepartum fetal death were used as confirmatory outcome variables in the final analysis. Descriptive statistics for all data were computed using SPSS version 22.0. The associations between the variables were tested and multivariate analyses were used to study the effects of the major baseline characteristics on the pregnancy outcome. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Hyperhomocysteinemia was recorded in 41 (24.6%) patients. Women with a high homocysteine concentration and those with a normal homocysteine level did not differ significantly in terms of age (P = 0.684), level of education (P = 0.866), and parity (P = 0.647). Women with hyperhomocysteinemia had an approximately twelve-fold higher risk of preterm birth (P = 0.001) and a ten-fold higher risk of delivering a term neonate with LBW (P = 0.004), but had no risk of antepartum fetal death (P = 0.118) compared to women with a normal homocysteine concentration. Conclusions: The prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia among mothers in Lagos was relatively low. The associations between hyperhomocysteinemia and adverse pregnancy outcomes could have implications in future for the prevention of these adverse outcomes.

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