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Vitamin D levels in moms and infants are low and sometimes very low – Sept 2015

Global summary of maternal and newborn vitamin D status – a systematic review

Rajneeta Saraf1, Susan M.B. Morton1, Carlos A. Camargo Jr.2 and Cameron C. Grant1,3,4,*
Maternal & Child Nutrition, Article first published online: 15 SEP 2015, DOI: 10.1111/mcn.12210

Pregnant women and newborns are at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. Our objective was to create a global summary of maternal and newborn vitamin D status. We completed a systematic review (1959–2014) and meta-analysis of studies reporting serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentration in maternal and newborn populations. The 95 identified studies were unevenly distributed by World Health Organization (WHO) region: Americas (24), European (33), Eastern Mediterranean (13), South-East Asian (7), Western Pacific (16) and African (2).

Average maternal 25(OH)D concentrations (nmol L−1) by region were

  • 47–65 (Americas),
  • 15–72 (European),
  • 13–60 (Eastern Mediterranean),
  • 20–52 (South-East Asian),
  • 42–72 (Western Pacific) and
  • 92 (African).

Average newborn 25(OH)D concentrations (nmol L−1) were

  • 35–77 (Americas),
  • 20–50 (European),
  • 5–50 (Eastern Mediterranean),
  • 20–22 (South-East Asian),
  • 32–67 (Western Pacific) and
  • 27–35 (African).

The prevalences of 25(OH)D <50 and <25 nmol L−1 by WHO region in pregnant women were: Americas (64%, 9%), European (57%, 23%), Eastern Mediterranean (46%, 79%), South-East Asian (87%, not available) and Western Pacific (83%, 13%). Among newborns these values were: Americas (30%, 14%), European (73%, 39%), Eastern Mediterranean (60%, not available), South-East Asian (96%, 45%) and Western Pacific (54%, 14%).
By global region, average 25(OH)D concentration varies threefold in pregnant women and newborns, and
prevalence of 25(OH)D <25 nmo L−1 varies

  • eightfold in pregnant women and
  • threefold in newborns.

Maternal and newborn 25(OH)D concentrations are highly correlated. Addressing vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women and newborns should be a global priority. To protect children from the adverse effects of vitamin D deficiency requires appropriate interventions during both pregnancy and childhood.

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See also VitaminDWiki

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Infant-Child Intervention trials using Vitamin D:

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