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High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in newborn infants of high-risk mothers
  1. S H Dijkstra1,
  2. A van Beek1,
  3. J W Janssen1,
  4. L H M de Vleeschouwer1,
  5. W A Huysman1,
  6. E L T van den Akker2
  1. 1
    Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  2. 2
    Erasmus MC, Sophia Children’s Hospital, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  1. E L T van den Akker, Erasmus MC, Sophia Children’s Hospital, University Medical Centre, Department of Paediatrics, Dr. Molewaterplein 60, 3015 GJ Rotterdam, the Netherlands; e.l.t.vandenakker{at}erasmusmc.nl

Abstract

Objective: To determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in newborn infants of mothers at risk of vitamin D deficiency because of dark skin or the wearing of concealing clothes (such as a veil) compared with a group presumed not to be at risk. A second aim was to correlate these newborn infants’ vitamin D concentrations with biochemical parameters of vitamin D metabolism and bone turnover at birth.

Design: A prospective study conducted between April 2004 and February 2006 including women delivering during this period and their newborn infants.

Setting: The outpatient clinic of the obstetrics department, Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Patients: Eighty seven newborn infants of healthy mothers with either dark skin and/or concealing clothing (risk group) or light skin (control group).

Results: We found a significant difference in the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D3 <25 nmol/l) between newborn infants of mothers at risk and those of mothers in the control group (63.3% vs 15.8%; p<0.001). Mean alkaline phosphatase concentrations were significantly higher in the at risk group.

Conclusions: Newborn infants of mothers with dark skin or wearing concealing clothes are at great risk of vitamin D deficiency at birth. The clinical implications are unknown. Further research is necessary to determine the long-term consequences of maternal and neonatal vitamin D deficiency so that guidelines on vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy can be issued.

  • Vitamin D
  • deficiency
  • newborns
  • pregnancy
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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

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