Impact of Periconceptional Folic Acid Supplementation on Low Birth Weight and Small-for-Gestational-Age Infants in China: A Large Prospective Cohort Study.
J Pediatr. 2017 May 22. Epub 2017 May 22. PMID: 28545876
OBJECTIVES: To explore the effects of maternal folic acid supplementation alone during pregnancy on the incidence of low birth weight (LBW) and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant status.
STUDY DESIGN: Data were derived from a large population-based cohort study performed in China to evaluate the prevention of neural tube defects with folic acid supplementation. The sample comprised 200 589 singleton live births registered in 2 southern Chinese provinces by mothers for whom detailed information on folic acid use was available. Gestational age was calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period. LBW was defined as a birth weight<2500 g. Infants were considered SGA when the age-adjusted birth weight was below the 10th percentile as defined by a national survey performed in 1998. Logistic regression was used to estimate the effects of folic acid after adjusting for the principal potential confounders.
RESULTS: The overall incidence of LBW and SGA status was 2.18% and 5.82%, respectively. The incidence of LBW and SGA status was 2.09% and 5.73% in women who took folic acid, and 2.27% and 5.90% in those who did not. The adjusted risk ratios associated with folic acid use were 0.85 (95% CI: 0.80-0.90) for LBW and 0.93 (95% CI: 0.89-0.96) for SGA status. Folic acid use during pregnancy appeared to be particularly important to prevent LBW and SGA status.
CONCLUSIONS: A maternal daily intake of 400 µg folic acid alone significantly reduced the risks of infant LBW and SGA status.