Folate status of mothers during pregnancy and mental and psychomotor development of their children at five years of age

Academic Article


  • Objective. There are limited data relating folate nutritional status of mothers during pregnancy to mental and psychomotor development of their offspring. Using an existing data set from a study on the effect of prenatal zinc supplementation on child neurodevelopment, we evaluated the association between folate nutritional status of mothers during pregnancy and neurodevelopment of their children. Methods. Maternal blood folate and total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations were measured at 19, 26, and 37 weeks of gestation. At a mean of 5.3 years of age, 355 black children with low-socioeconomic background were given 6 tests: Differential Ability Scales, Visual and Auditory Sequential Memory, Knox Cube Test, Gross Motor Scale, and Grooved Pegboard. The scores of the tests between the 2 groups of mothers with poor versus adequate folate nutritional status classified by blood folate or tHcy concentrations were compared. Results. There were no differences in the test scores of neurodevelopment between the 2 groups. Conclusion. Folate nutritional status of mothers in the later half of pregnancy assessed by plasma and erythrocyte folate and plasma tHcy concentrations had no impact on neurodevelopment of their children at age 5. It is unknown whether our findings in a low-socioeconomic population can be readily extrapolated to other populations. Copyright © 2005 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Published In

  • Pediatrics  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tamura T; Goldenberg RL; Chapman VR; Johnston KE; Ramey SL; Nelson KG
  • Start Page

  • 703
  • End Page

  • 708
  • Volume

  • 116
  • Issue

  • 3