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Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 1997 Jul;31(4):221-4.

[A correlation study on homocysteine metabolism in pregnant women and neural tube defects in urban and rural areas].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Epidemiology, Beijing Medical University.


Serum levels of homocysteine, folic acid and vitamin B12 in pregnant women in urban and rural areas were compared to study the relationship between homocysteine metabolism and neural tube defects. Four hundred and eleven serum specimens were sampled randomly from a serum bank for women with early pregnancy in Beijing area, 195 from urban and 216 from rural. Their levels of homocysteine were determined by high performance liquid chromatography combined with electrochemical methods, and those of folic acid and vitamin B12 by radioimmunoassay. Results showed that level of homocysteine was significantly higher in rural pregnant women than that in urban, with 9.31 mumol/L and 5.73 mumol/L, respectively, level of vitamin B12 was lower in rural than that in urban women, with 210.09 pmol/L and 233.35 pmol/L, respectively, and level of folic acid was higher in rural than that in urban women, but no significant difference in deficiency of folic acid between rural and urban was found. The average ratio of folic acid to homocysteine and that of vitamin B12 to homocysteine were higher in rural than those in urban women. It suggests that abnormal metabolism of homocysteine usually correlates with high incidence of neural tube defects in rural area.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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