Maternal early pregnancy vitamin D status in relation to fetal and neonatal growth: results of the multi-ethnic Amsterdam Born Children and their Development cohort

Evelien R. Leffelaar, Tanja G. M. Vrijkotte, Manon van Eijsden

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Low vitamin D levels during pregnancy may account for reduced fetal growth and for altered neonatal development. The present study explored the association between maternal vitamin D status measured early in pregnancy and birth weight, prevalence of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants and postnatal growth (weight and length), as well as the potential role of vitamin D status in explaining ethnic disparities in these outcomes. Data were derived from a large multi-ethnic cohort in The Netherlands (Amsterdam Born Children and their Development (ABCD) cohort), and included 3730 women with live-born singleton term deliveries. Maternal serum vitamin D was measured during early pregnancy (median 13 weeks, interquartile range: 12-14), and was labelled 'deficient' ( <= 29.9 nmol/1), 'insufficient' (30-49.9 nmol/1) or 'adequate' (>= 50 nmol/1). Six ethnic groups were distinguished: Dutch, Surinamese, Turkish, Moroccan, other non-Western and other Western. Associations with neonatal outcomes were analysed using multivariate regression analyses. Results showed that compared with women with adequate vitamin D levels, women with deficient vitamin D levels had infants with lower birth weights (- 114.4 g, 95% CI - 151.2, - 77.6) and a higher risk of SGA (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.9, 3.2). Neonates born to mothers with a deficient vitamin D status showed accelerated growth in weight and length during the first year of life. Although a deficient vitamin D status influenced birth weight, SGA risk and neonatal growth, it played a limited role in explaining ethnic differences. Although vitamin D supplementation might be beneficial to those at risk of a deficient vitamin D status, more research is needed before a nationwide policy on the subject can be justified
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-117
JournalBritish journal of nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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