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Burka clothing reduces vitamin D levels, which causes pregnancy problems – Oct 2015

Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Burka-clad Pregnant Women in a 450-Bedded Maternity Hospital of Delhi

The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India, pp 1-5
Sangita Nangia Ajmani , Mohini Paul, Poonam Chauhan, A. K. Ajmani, Namrta Yadav

VitaminDWiki selective highlights

200 pregnant women with burkas – 23 ng mean value
39% Vitamin D inadequate (10-20 ng?)
38% Vitamin D deficient (<10 ng?)
Preeclampsia woman 100% were deficient
12 NICU Infants: 40% had deficient mothers
19 Low Birth Weight infants :79% had deficient mothers
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Pages listed in BOTH the categories Pregnancy and Hypertension (preeclampsia)


To assess the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in burka-clad pregnant women and to study feto-maternal outcome in these women.

200 pregnant burka-clad women of 18–40-year age group irrespective of the period of gestation were recruited from the ANC OPD/ward of Kasturba hospital, and their vitamin D levels were estimated. Patients were categorized into vitamin D deficient, vitamin D inadequate, and vitamin D adequate according to The Endocrine Society Guidelines. The association of vitamin D deficiency with dietary/environmental factors was taken note of. Associations with preeclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), low birth weight (LBW), prematurity, APGAR score, and NICU admission were also studied.

78 patients (39.0 %) were vitamin D inadequate; 75 patients (37.5 %) were vitamin D deficient; and 47(23.5 %) were vitamin D adequate. Mean value of vitamin D level was 23.25 ng/ml ± 18.49 (SD).

  • Fifteen patients (7.5 %) developed preeclampsia, and all 15 were vitamin D deficient;
  • 13 (6.5 %) developed GDM; and only 5 (2.5 %) of them were vitamin D deficient.
  • 19 patients (9.5 %) delivered LBW babies;
    mothers of 15 (7.5 %) of them were vitamin D deficient.
  • 12 patients (6.0 %) delivered premature babies, and
    mothers of 4 (2 %) were vitamin D deficient;
  • 12 babies had APGAR score <7 at 5 min;
    mothers of 4 (2.0 %) were vitamin D deficient.
  • Babies of 12 patients (6 %) were admitted in NICU, and of these 12 babies,
    mothers of 5 (2.5 %) were vitamin D deficient.

The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was high among burka-clad pregnant women, and it is associated with adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. Routine screening of vitamin D levels is recommended in burka-clad women to improve the feto-maternal outcome.

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