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High prevalence of hypovitaminosis D3 among pregnant women in central Iran: correlation with newborn vitamin D3 levels and negative association with gestational age.

OBJECTIVE: Hypovitaminosis D3 is a significant concern among pregnant women and their newborns because vitamin D3 (Vit-D3) plays a crucial role in embryonic growth, development, and health. This study aimed to evaluate the Vit-D3 status of a group of pregnant Iranian women and its association with newborn Vit-D3 levels, medical and clinical indices after delivery.

METHODS: A total of 206 pregnant women and their newborns were assessed for Vit-D3 levels and their correlation with gestational age. Mean±standard (SD) or the orders (non-parametric tests) of variables were compared, and correlation estimations were performed to elucidate any differences or associations between groups, with a confidence interval of at least 0.95.

RESULTS: The mean±SD of mothers' age and gestational age were 29.65±6.18 years and 35.59±1.6 weeks, respectively. Neonatal Vit-D3 levels were associated with maternal age. Using a 30 ng/mL cutoff point for serum Vit-D3 levels, 83.5% of pregnant women and 84.7% of newborns had hypovitaminosis D3. The average Vit-D3 levels of mothers and newborns at delivery time were 23.5±8.07 ng/mL and 20.76±9.14 ng/mL, respectively. Newborn Vit-D3 levels were positively correlated with maternal Vit-D3 serum levels (R=0.744; P=0.000) and gestational age (R=0.161; P=0.022). In newborns, head circumference was inversely correlated with bilirubin level (R=-0.302; P=0.000) but directly associated with weight (R=0.640; P=0.000).

CONCLUSION: Hypovitaminosis D3 remains a significant challenge for pregnant Iranian women. Maternal Vit-D3 levels provide for the newborn's needs, particularly in the late stages of pregnancy. Therefore, Vit-D3 supplementation and regular monitoring are essential for pregnant women and their newborns.

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