Association of maternal sphinganine:sphingosine ratio and folate levels with neural tube defects along the South Texas border

John J Cotton, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

Neural tube defects (NTDs) remain elevated in Hispanic women along the South Texas Border, despite folate supplementation and folate fortification of cereal products. Missmer et al. examined the relationships between fumonisins, a class of corn mycotoxin, and NTDs in Hispanic women who ate corn tortillas and found increased odds ratios with increasing exposure, as measured by serum sphinganine:sphingosine (sa:so) ratios. This study examined the interactions between categorized maternal serum folate levels and stratified sa:so ratios and the resultant odds ratios of NTDs, stratified by type (anencephaly and spina bifida). The hypothesis was that the above normal folate category would have lower odds ratios of NTDs at given sa:so ratio categories and that there would be a difference in odds ratio patterns for anencephaly and spina bifida. Methods. Data for 406 Hispanic women were obtained from the Missmer case-control study. Sa:so ratios were calculated and subjects were stratified into “below normal,” “normal,” and above normal range for folate. A logistic regression model was applied, controlling for BMI, serum B12, lab batch, and conception date. Results. While OR’s of NTDs increased for increasing sa:so ratios, OR’s for “above normal” folate were not decreased at any sa:so ratio and there was no statistically significant difference between OR’s of anencephaly and spina bifida. Conclusion. Folate does not appear to be protective against the potential teratogenic effect of fumonisins and did not differ in effect on OR’s of NTD by type. More research is necessary to determine the extent of fumonisin exposure in Hispanic women along the South Texas Border.^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Public Health

Recommended Citation

Cotton, John J, "Association of maternal sphinganine:sphingosine ratio and folate levels with neural tube defects along the South Texas border" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1479578.
https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI1479578

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