Preventive effects of folic acid supplementation on adverse maternal and fetal outcomes

Min Woo Kim, Ki Hoon Ahn, Ki Jin Ryu, Soon Cheol Hong, Ji Sung Lee, Alejandro A. Nava-Ocampo, Min Jeong Oh, Hai Joong Kim

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Although there is accumulating evidence regarding the additional protective effect of folic acid against adverse pregnancy outcomes other than neural tube defects, these effects have not been elucidated in detail. We evaluated whether folic acid supplementation is associated with favorable maternal and fetal outcomes. This was a secondary analysis of 215 pregnant women who were enrolled in our prior study. With additional data from telephone interviews regarding prenatal folic acid supplementation, existing demographic, maternal and fetal data were statistically analyzed. The concentration of folic acid in maternal blood was significantly higher following folic acid supplementation (24.6 ng/mL vs.11.8 ng/mL). In contrast, homocysteine level in maternal blood decreased with folic acid supplementation (5.5 μmol/mL vs. 6.8 μmol/mL). The rates of both preeclampsia (odds ratio [OR], 0.27; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.09-0.76) and small for gestational age (SGA; 9.2% vs. 20.0%; OR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.18-0.99) were lower in the folic acid supplementation group than those in the control group. Other pregnancy outcomes had no association with folic acid supplementation. The findings indicate that folic acid supplementation may help to prevent preeclampsia and SGA. Further studies are warranted to elucidate the favorable effects of folic acid supplementation on pregnancy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere97273
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May 19

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grant No. K1220211 from Korea University College of Medicine and a grant (2012-0003134) from the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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