Research Article

Assessment Of The Vitamin B12 Status Of Pregnant Women And Their Infants

  • Abdurrahman Avar ÖZDEMİR
  • Yasemin Ercan GÜNDEMİR

Received Date: 13.03.2018 Accepted Date: 13.06.2018 Namik Kemal Med J 2018;6(2):53-60


Vitamin B12 deficiency is an important problem in pregnancy because it affects not only mothers but also their infants. Although vitamin B12 deficiency is seen all over the world and all age groups, its frequency is much higher in population which has low socio-economic level.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the maternal vitamin B12 status and their effect on neonatal vitamin B12 status and to detect risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency in Bağcılar where is a low socio-economic region in Istanbul.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 71 pregnant women and 71 infants were included in this study between March 2016 and March 2017. Age, gender, weight, gestational age, weight gain during pregnancy, body mass index (BMI), number of parity, socio-economic status, diet, daily vitamin intake were recorded. Blood samples for whole blood count and vitamin B12 were taken all subjects. The pregnant women and newborns were divided into groups based on their vitamin B12 levels. The risk factors were analyzed for vitamin B12 deficiency.


The mean vitamin B12 level was 172.23±102 pg/ml for pregnant women. The number of pregnant women in deficient group (<200 pg/ml) were 73% and 46% of the mothers had a serum vitamin B12 level lower than 150 pg/ml. B12 level of pregnant women those who have consumed sufficient amount of animal products were found as significantly higher than the consumed insufficient (p=0.001). The mean vitamin B12 level of infants was found as 352.1±339.2 pg/ml and the number of infants in deficient group were 26.6%. Also, 14% of the infants had a serum vitamin B12 level lower than 150 pg/ml. There was no correlation between the mothers’ B12 level and newborns’ body measurements and gestational age.


The prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnant women in our region was very high and mainly cause was sub-optimal nutrition. Therefore, we suggest that the vitamin B12 status may be assess at the beginning of pregnancy in all women live in low socioeconomic region status.

Keywords: vitamin B12, pregnancy, newborn