Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Folic acid in early pregnancy associated with reduced risk of severe language delay in children

Date:
October 12, 2011
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Use of folic acid supplements by women in Norway in the period four weeks before to eight weeks after conception was associated with a reduced risk of the child having severe language delay at age three years, according to a new study.

Use of folic acid supplements by women in Norway in the period 4 weeks before to 8 weeks after conception was associated with a reduced risk of the child having severe language delay at age 3 years, according to a study in the October 12 issue of JAMA.

"Randomized controlled trials and other studies have demonstrated that periconceptional [the period from before conception to early pregnancy] folic acid supplements reduce the risk of neural tube defects. To our knowledge, none of the trials have followed up their sample to investigate whether these supplements have effects on neurodevelopment that are only manifest after birth," the authors write.

Christine Roth, M.Sc., Clin.Psy.D., of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, and colleagues conducted a study to investigate whether maternal use of folic acid supplements was associated with a reduced risk of severe language delay among offspring at age 3 years. "Unlike the United States, Norway does not fortify foods with folic acid, increasing the contrast in relative folate status between women who do and do not take folic acid supplements," the researchers write. Pregnant women were recruited for the study beginning in 1999, and data were included on children born before 2008 whose mothers returned the 3-year follow-up questionnaire by June 16, 2010. Maternal use of folic acid supplements within the interval from 4 weeks before to 8 weeks after conception was the exposure. The primary outcome measured for the study was children's language competency at age 3 years as gauged by maternal report on a 6-point ordinal language grammar scale. Children with minimal expressive language (only 1-word or unintelligible utterances) were rated as having severe language delay.

The main analysis for the study included 38,954 children (19,956 boys and 18,998 girls). Of these children, 204 (0.5 percent) were rated as having severe language delay (159 [0.8 percent] boys and 45 [0.2 percent) girls). Children whose mothers took no dietary supplements in the specified exposure interval were the reference group (n = 9,052 [24.0 percent], with severe language delay in 81 children [0.9 percent]). Data for 3 patterns of exposure to maternal dietary supplements were: other supplements, but no folic acid (n = 2,480 [6.6 percent], with severe language delay in 22 children [0.9 percent]); folic acid only (n = 7,127 [18.9 percent], with severe language delay in 28 children [0.4 percent]); and folic acid in combination with other supplements (n = 19,005 [50.5 percent], with severe language delay in 73 children [0.4 percent]).

The researchers write that maternal use of supplements containing folic acid within the period from 4 weeks before to 8 weeks after conception was associated with a substantially reduced risk of severe language delay in children at age 3 years. "We found no association, however, between maternal use of folic acid supplements and significant delay in gross motor skills at age 3 years. The specificity provides some reassurance that there is not confounding by an unmeasured factor. Such a factor might be expected to relate to both language and motor delay."

The authors add that to their knowledge, no previous prospective observational study has examined the relation of prenatal folic acid supplements to severe language delay in children.

"If in future research this relationship were shown to be causal, it would have important implications for understanding the biological processes underlying disrupted neurodevelopment, for the prevention of neurodevelopmental disorders, and for policies of folic acid supplementation for women of reproductive age."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christine Roth, Per Magnus, Synnve Schjψlberg, Camilla Stoltenberg, Pεl Surιn, Ian W. McKeague, George Davey Smith, Ted Reichborn-Kjennerud, Ezra Susser. Folic Acid Supplements in Pregnancy and Severe Language Delay in Children. JAMA, 2011; 306 (14): 1566-1573 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.1433

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Folic acid in early pregnancy associated with reduced risk of severe language delay in children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011163045.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2011, October 12). Folic acid in early pregnancy associated with reduced risk of severe language delay in children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011163045.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Folic acid in early pregnancy associated with reduced risk of severe language delay in children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011163045.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) — The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Grave Ebola Estimates, US to Test Vaccine

Amid Grave Ebola Estimates, US to Test Vaccine

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — The National Institutes of Health will start the first human safety trials of an experimental Ebola vaccine next week, amid a grave estimate from the World Health Organization that Ebola cases in West Africa could top 20,000. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Folic Acid Supplements in Early Pregnancy May Reduce the Risk of Severe Language Delay in Children

Oct. 12, 2011 — A new study finds that mothers who took folic acid supplements from four weeks before to eight weeks after conception reported a significantly lower prevalence of severe language delay in their ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins