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 supposed not to be at risk. A second aim was to correlate these newborns’ vitamin D concentrations to 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 in this period, and their newborns.
Setting: Outpatient clinic of the obstetrics department, Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Patients: Eighty-seven newborns of healthy mothers either with dark skin and/or concealing clothing (risk group) or with light skin (control group).
Results: We found a significant difference in the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D3 < 25 nmol/l) between newborns born to mothers at risk and newborns born to mothers in the control group (63.3% vs. 15.8%; p<0.0001). Mean alkaline phosphatase concentrations were significantly higher in the risk group.
Conclusions: Newborn infants of mothers with dark skin or of mothers wearing concealing clothes are at great risk of vitamin D deficiency at birth. Clinical implications are unknown. Further research is necessary to determine the long-term consequences of maternal and neonatal vitamin D deficiency in order to issue guidelines on vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy.
- vitamin D
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