Association between Maternal and Infantile Markers of Cobalamin Status During the First Month Post-Delivery
Exclusively breast-fed infants born to vitamin B12 (cobalamin, cbl)-deficient mothers can develop symptoms within a few months following delivery. The authors aimed to assess the relationship between maternal and infantile markers of cbl status.
In 240 full-term infants (age, 2–30 d) admitted to Samsun Maternity and Child Health Hospital and their mothers, complete blood count testing and serum cbl, folate and plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) measurements were performed. In the mothers, serum ferritin and holotranscobalamin (holoTC) levels were measured additionally.
Among the infants, 146 (60.8%) had cbl deficiency (serum cbl <259 pg/mL), whereas 184 (76.7%) mothers had a low cbl level (serum cbl <300 pg/mL). When cbl deficiency was defined as a serum holoTC level < 40 pmol/L, 152 (63.3%) mothers were found as deficient. In addition, 147 (61.3%) infants had an elevated tHcy level (>10 μmol/L), in 35 (23.8%) of these 147 infants tHcy level being markedly elevated (>20 μmol/L). None of the infants had folate deficiency. In the correlational analysis between maternal and infantile markers associated with cbl status, the strongest correlation was observed between maternal holoTC and infantile tHcy (r = −0.49, p < 0.001), followed by the correlation between maternal tHcy and infantile tHcy (r = 0.47, p < 0.001). The weakest correlations were found between maternal cbl and infantile cbl (r = 0.28, p < 0.001), and between maternal cbl and infantile tHcy (r = −0.25, p < 0.001).
Maternal cbl status is an important determinant of infantile cbl status. Both maternal holoTC and tHcy may assist in predicting infantile cbl status. The finding of high prevalence of maternal and infantile cbl deficiency in this study points towards the need for effective strategies to prevent cbl deficiency in women prior to getting pregnant.
KeywordsCobalamin Homocysteine Holotranscobalamin Newborn Maternal
The authors would like to thank all the physicians and nurses in Samsun Maternity and Child Health Hospital for their collaboration during the collection of blood samples and data.
EYK and MI designed the study. SC collected and processed tha data. SC, EYK and MI wrote the manuscript, and EYK revised the manuscript. EYK will act as guarantor for this paper.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Source of Funding
Samsun Training and Research Hospital.
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