Vitamin D Deficiency in Turkish Mothers and Their Neonates and in Women of Reproductive Age

Ankara University, School of Medicine, Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Ankara, Turkey.
Journal of Clinical Research in Pediatric Endocrinology 12/2009; 1(6):266-9. DOI: 10.4274/jcrpe.v1i6.266
Source: PubMed


Materno-fetal vitamin D deficiency (VDD) may occur in the early neonatal period. We aimed to evaluate the vitamin D (vitD) status and risk factors for VDD in healthy newborns and their mothers, and also in fertile women.
Serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D), calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels were measured in 70 mothers (study group) and their newborns, and in umbilical cord samples. 104 nonpregnant fertile women comprised the control group. Demographic factors such as education and clothing habits of the mother, number of pregnancies and month of delivery were recorded. A serum 25(OH)D level below 11 ng/ml was accepted as severe, 11-25 ng/ml as moderate VDD, and a value over 25 ng/ml as normal.
Severe VDD was found in 27% of the mothers, and moderate deficiency in 54.3%. Severe VDD was detected in 64.3% of the neonates, and moderate deficiency in 32.9%. Only 18.6% of the mothers and 2.9% of the neonates had normal vitD levels. In the control group, severe VDD was observed in 26.9%, and moderate deficiency in 45.2%. Only 27.8% of the controls had normal vitD levels. In the control group, the 25(OH)D levels of the women dressed in modern clothes were significantly higher than those of the women wearing traditional clothes. This difference was not observed in the study group because 75% of these 70 mothers wore modern clothes. Mothers giving birth during the summer months and their neonates had significantly higher serum 25(OH)D levels than those of the mothers giving birth during the winter months and their neonates.
The study has shown that in Turkey VDD is an important problem in women of reproductive age, in mothers and their neonates. The 25(OH)D levels obtained from the cord may serve as a guide in the determination of the high risk groups.

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    • "Two separate studies with infants of mothers of Arabic origin in India (12) and in USA (13) showed increased frequency of vitamin D deficiency in infants with low birth weight. To date, there have been no studies investigating vitamin D status in preterm infants in Turkey, despite reports showing that maternal and neonatal vitamin D deficiency is common in this country (14,15,16,17). Additionally, since these infants are born before vitamin D transfer from the mother to the fetus has been completed; it is highly probable that vitamin D deficiency will be common among them. "
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    • "Data compiled from various studies reveal that the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in Turkey, particularly in fertile women of reproductive age, is as high as 80% (7, 9, 10, 11, 12). This condition increases the incidence of VDD/insufficiency during early infancy (11, 12). "
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