Background Hypovitaminosis D is widespread among pregnant women and their infants. Recent studies implicate Vitamin D as having anti-inflammatory effects which may be beneficial in preterm infants who are at high risk of inflammatory disorders.
Aim To assess serum 25OHD status in preterm infants in NICU and their mothers and any associations between vitamin D levels and outcome.
Methods Serum 25OHD levels were prospectively evaluated by radioimmunoassay from preterm (< 32 weeks gestation) infants and their mothers at birth. 25OHD levels were correlated with outcomes in NICU including Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and Ventilation days.
Results A total of 70 preterm infants/mothers pairs were included. 95% of preterm infants were 25OHD deficient (<50nmol/L) and 64% were severely deficient (<30nmol/L) at birth. 90% of mothers were 25OHD deficient (<50nmol/L) and 46% were severely deficient (<30nmol/L). There were no differences in mean gestational age (G.A) and birth weights (B. Wt) between preterm infants with severe deficicncy versus the remaining preterm infants. Preterm infants with severe vitamin d deficiency had a higher incidence of NEC (p = 0.03); longer duration of assisted ventilation (p = 0.04) and higher incidence of ROP (p = 0.06) (Table 1).
Conclusions Severe hypovitaminosis D is associated with adverse outcomes especially NEC and respiratory morbidity in this cohort of preterm NICU infants. Vitamin D supplemntation in pregnancy may modify these morbidities.