Maternal vitamin D3 supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy: effects on infant growth in a longitudinal follow-up study in Bangladesh

Daniel E Roth, Nandita Perumal, Abdullah Al Mahmud, Abdullah H Baqui
Journal of Pediatrics 2013, 163 (6): 1605-1611.e3

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the effects of prenatal vitamin D supplementation on infant growth in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

STUDY DESIGN: Longitudinal follow-up of infants born at term or late preterm (≥34 weeks) to participants in a randomized double-blind trial of maternal third-trimester vitamin D3 (35 000 IU/wk; vitamin D ) vs placebo. Anthropometry was performed at birth, 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months of age. The primary analysis (n = 145 overall; n = 134 at 1 year) was a comparison of mean length-for-age z-score (LAZ) based on World Health Organization standards.

RESULTS: LAZ was similar between groups at birth, but 0.44 (95% CI, 0.06-0.82) higher in vitamin D vs placebo at 1 year, corresponding to a sex-adjusted increase of 1.1 cm (95% CI, 0.06-2.0). Mean change in LAZ from birth to 1 month was significantly greater in vitamin D (0.53 per month) vs placebo (0.19 per month; P = .004); but there was no significant divergence thereafter. In longitudinal (repeated-measures) analysis, average LAZ during infancy was 0.41 higher in vitamin D vs placebo (95% CI, 0.11-0.71, P = .01). Stunting was less common in vitamin D (17% of infants were ever stunted) vs placebo (31%; P = .049). Other anthropometric indices were similar between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Maternal vitamin D3 supplementation (35 000 IU/wk) during the third trimester of pregnancy enhanced early postnatal linear growth in a cohort of infants in Bangladesh.

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