A recent study, published by Neonatology, discovered an alarming prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women and their newborn babies.
Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is associated with preeclampsia, miscarriage, low birth weight and more recently, social development and behavioral disorders. In addition, several studies have found high vitamin D deficiency rates in the Middle East.Therefore, researchers decided to examine the rate of deficiency among pregnant women of this population in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
A total of 1,097 pregnant women were included in this multicenter study. Serum 25(OH)D levels were drawn at the beginning of enrollment and at the end of the second and third trimester. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as a serum level of 25(OH)D <20 ng/ml, insufficiency as 20–30 ng/mg, and adequate levels as >30 ng/ml.
A separate analysis was also conducted for the first 280 women who were recruited for the study. These participant’s received a blood draw to evaluate bone health, thyroid levels and vitamin D levels at their first prenatal visit.
This is what the researchers found:
The authors concluded:
“Maternal and neonatal vitamin D deficiency is alarmingly high in Arabs and significantly associated with each other. Universal screening for serum 25(OH)D may be appropriate for Arab mothers and vitamin D supplementation mandatory until term.”