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March 23, 1970

Infants of Mothers With Megaloblastic Anemia Due to Folate Deficiency

Author Affiliations

From the University of Texas (Southwestern) Medical School at Dallas and Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas.

JAMA. 1970;211(12):1982-1984. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170120028005

To try to ascertain the effects of severe maternal folate deficiency on the products of conception, we investigated the fate of 86 infants of women with folate deficiency so severe as to cause overt megaloblastic anemia. Perinatal mortality, fetal malformation, birthweight, prematurity, and neonatal hemoglobin concentration were very similar to those of the general obstetric population cared for at the same institution. Therefore, it appears very unlikely that intensive public health measures focused on providing folicacid supplementation to eradicate all suspicions of maternal folate deficiency would have a dramatic effect on reducing pregnancy wasteage.