Experts have discovered an association between vitamin D insufficiency and health outcomes such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia in mothers-to-be and low birth weight in newborns. The findings of the study have been published on bmj.com.
Vitamin D insufficiency has been associated with a number of adverse health outcomes and has been recognised as a public health concern. Plus, observational data has suggested a link between low vitamin D and increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes (such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, risk of infections, caesarean section and foetal growth restriction). Knowledge of these associations is however limited.Literature on this topic is growing rapidly. As such, researchers from the University of Calgary in Canada carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of all existing evidence on the effect of vitamin D concentration on pregnancy and birth outcomes.
Data from 31 studies were included in the analysis - all published between 1980 and 2012 with between 95 and 1,100 participants. Differences in study design and quality were taken into account to minimise bias.Results showed that pregnant women with low levels of 5-OH vitamin D were more likely to develop gestational diabetes (odds ratio of 0.49), had an increased chance of developing preeclampsia (odds ratio of 0. 79) and an increased chance of giving birth to a baby small for gestational age (odds ratio of 0.85).