(HealthDay News) — Mothers’ vitamin B12 levels in early pregnancy may impact children’s cardiometabolic risk factors at age 5 years, according to a study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

G.G. Krikke, from the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, and colleagues identified 1950 mother-child pairs participating in the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development study for whom information on maternal vitamin B12 or folate status in early gestation and child health at age 5 to 6 years was available.

The researchers found that low maternal folate levels during early pregnancy (median, 13 weeks of gestation) were associated with slightly higher body mass index in offspring (decrease per 10 units: β 0.07 kg/m²). There was also an association noted between low maternal vitamin B12 concentrations and higher heart rates (decrease per 100 units: β 0.49 beats/min).

“This study provides further evidence that maternal nutrition in early pregnancy may possibly program cardiometabolic health of the offspring,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Krikke GG, Grooten IJ, Vrijkotte TGM, van Eijsden M, Roseboom TJ, Painter RC. Vitamin B12 and folate status in early pregnancy and cardiometabolic risk factors in the offspring at age 5–6 years: findings from the ABCD multi-ethnic birth cohort. BJOG. 2016;123(3):384-392. doi:10.1111/1471-0528.13574.