Severe vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women and their newborns in Turkey

Mesut Parlak, Salih Kalay, Zuhal Kalay, Ahmet Kirecci, Ozgur Guney, Esad Koklu
Journal of Maternal-fetal & Neonatal Medicine 2015, 28 (5): 548-51

OBJECTIVES: Vitamin D deficiency is an important health problem in pregnant women and their infants in sunny countries. Low socio-economic status (LSES), covered dressing style, pregnancies in winter season and having dark skin are the major risk factors for vitamin D deficiency. The present study evaluated serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3] concentrations in pregnant women and in their newborns and determined the risk factors in LSES cities in Turkey.

METHODS: Ninety-seven pregnant women and their newborns were included in the study between December 2012 and February 2013. All of the pregnant women had irregular follow-up or had received no antenatal care, were pregnant during summer, had presented to the hospital after 37 weeks of gestation (WG) and had received no vitamin D supplementation. A detailed history was obtained, which included mothers' age, number of births and dressing sytle. Maternal and cord blood samples were taken to measure 25(OH)D3 levels.

RESULTS: All of the pregnant women were predominantly LSES, had covered dressing style and none of them had received vit D3 supplementation during pregnancy. The mean serum 25(OH)D3 level and mean cord blood level of of 97 mothers were 4.97 ± 3.27 ng/ml and 4.29 ± 2.44 ng/ml, respectively. There was a strong positive correlation between maternal serum and umbilical cord 25(OH)D3 levels (r: 0.735, p < 0.05). Ninety-five mothers had serum 25(OH)D3 below 20 ng/ml and all cord blood serum 25(OH)D3 levels were below 20 ng/ml. Level of 25(OH)D3 was not correlated with mother age, WG or newborn weight. Serum 25(OH)D3 concentrations in primigravida and multigravida were 3.71 ± 1.88 and 5.2 ± 3.4 ng/ml, respectively, with a significant difference between them (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Severe vitamin D deficiency is common in reproductive women and their newborns in LSES cities of Turkey. Covered dressing style, not receiving any vitamin D supplementation and primigravida women are at greatest risk. Vitamin D supplementation campaigns which should cover pregnant women and the newborn to prevent maternal and perinatal vitamin D deficiency should be implemented especially in risk areas.

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