Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Maternal folic acid supplement use in early pregnancy and child behavioural problems: The Generation R Study

  • Sabine J. Roza (a1) (a2), Tamara van Batenburg-Eddes (a1) (a2), Eric A. P. Steegers (a3), Vincent W. V. Jaddoe (a1) (a4) (a5), Johan P. Mackenbach (a6), Albert Hofman (a5), Frank C. Verhulst (a2) and Henning Tiemeier (a2) (a5)...
Abstract

Folate deficiency during embryogenesis is an established risk factor for neural tube defects in the fetus. An adequate folate nutritional status is also important for normal fetal growth and brain development. The aim of the present research was to study the association between folic acid use of the mother during pregnancy and child behavioural development. Within a population-based cohort, we prospectively assessed folic acid supplement use during the first trimester by questionnaire. Child behavioural and emotional problems were assessed with the Child Behaviour Checklist at the age of 18 months in 4214 toddlers. Results showed that children of mothers who did not use folic acid supplements in the first trimester had a higher risk of total problems (OR 1·44; 95 % CI 1·12, 1·86). Folic acid supplement use protected both from internalising (OR of no supplement use 1·65; 95 % CI 1·24, 2·19) and externalising problems (OR 1·45; 95 % CI 1·17, 1·80), even when adjusted for maternal characteristics. Birth weight and size of the fetal head did not mediate the association between folic acid use and child behaviour. In conclusion, inadequate use of folic acid supplements during early pregnancy may be associated with a higher risk of behavioural problems in the offspring. Folic acid supplementation in early pregnancy, aimed to prevent neural tube defects, may also reduce mental health problems in children.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Maternal folic acid supplement use in early pregnancy and child behavioural problems: The Generation R Study
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Maternal folic acid supplement use in early pregnancy and child behavioural problems: The Generation R Study
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Maternal folic acid supplement use in early pregnancy and child behavioural problems: The Generation R Study
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr Henning Tiemeier, fax +31 10 7044657, email h.tiemeier@erasmusmc.nl
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

2Anonymous (1991) Prevention of neural tube defects: results of the Medical Research Council Vitamin Study. MRC Vitamin Study Research Group. Lancet 338, 131137.

4L Iyengar & K Rajalakshmi (1975) Effect of folic acid supplement on birth weights of infants. Am J Obstet Gynecol 122, 332336.

6S Xiao , DK Hansen , ET Horsley , (2005) Maternal folate deficiency results in selective upregulation of folate receptors and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein-E1 associated with multiple subtle aberrations in fetal tissues. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol 73, 628.

7S Zammit , S Lewis , D Gunnell , (2007) Schizophrenia and neural tube defects: comparisons from an epidemiological perspective. Schizophr Bull 33, 853858.

9RE Erbe (1975) Inborn errors of folate metabolism (first of two parts). N Engl J Med 293, 753757.

11T Tamura , RL Goldenberg , VR Chapman , (2005) Folate status of mothers during pregnancy and mental and psychomotor development of their children at five years of age. Pediatrics 116, 703708.

12VW Jaddoe , JP Mackenbach , HA Moll , (2006) The Generation R Study: design and cohort profile. Eur J Epidemiol 21, 475484.

14NT Tick , J van der Ende , HM Koot , (2007) 14-Year changes in emotional and behavioural problems of very young Dutch children. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 46, 13331340.

15A Reichenberg , R Gross , M Weiser , (2006) Advancing paternal age and autism. Arch Gen Psychiatry 63, 10261032.

16D Malaspina , S Harlap , S Fennig , (2001) Advancing paternal age and the risk of schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry 58, 361367.

19S Timmermans , VW Jaddoe , JP Mackenbach , (2008) Determinants of folic acid use in early pregnancy in a multi-ethnic urban population in the Netherlands: The Generation R Study. Prev Med (Epublication ahead of print version 2 July 2008).

21AS Brown , ES Susser , PD Butler , (1996) Neurobiological plausibility of prenatal nutritional deprivation as a risk factor for schizophrenia. J Nerv Ment Dis 184, 7185.

25YJ Kelly , JY Nazroo , A McMunn , (2001) Birthweight and behavioural problems in children: a modifiable effect? Int J Epidemiol 30, 8894.

26JM McClellan , E Susser & M King (2006) Maternal famine, de novo mutations, and schizophrenia. JAMA 296, 582584.

28AL Brantsaeter , M Haugen , TA Hagve , (2007) Self-reported dietary supplement use is confirmed by biological markers in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). Ann Nutr Metab 51, 146154.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords: