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
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Competing interests: None.