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Higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in German pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women

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Abstract

Purpose

Adequate vitamin D status is crucial for normal development of the fetus and for maternal health. As data on vitamin D status (25-hydroxyvitamin D, 25(OH)D) in German women of different states of pregnancy were not available, this study compared the vitamin D status of German women in all trimesters of pregnancy with that of non-pregnant women.

Methods

The study sample of 858 women (18–45 years) was recruited from April 2013 to March 2015 as a part of the cross-sectional Germany-wide VitaMinFemin study. Serum 25(OH)D levels were determined using chemiluminescence immunoassay.

Results

A total of 78.1% of the pregnant women and 53.9% of the non-pregnant women had a vitamin D status <50.0 nmol/L (p < 0.001). In pregnant women, the multivariate binary analysis showed that winter [odds ratio (OR) 13.5], longitude of residence between 6.3°E and 8.9°E (OR 2.0) or 9.0°E and 10.9°E (OR 2.3) and third trimester (OR 2.3) were associated with a higher risk of vitamin D status <25.0 nmol/L, whereas increasing age per one year (OR 0.9) with a lower risk. Compared with non-pregnant women, pregnant women were 3.7 times more likely to have a vitamin D status <25.0 nmol/L.

Conclusion

A low vitamin D status is prevalent among German pregnant women and should be improved to supply mother and fetus adequately.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the physicians and participants who contributed their time to this study.

Author information

Correspondence to Sandra Gellert.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Financial disclosure

The study was supported by Rottapharm Madaus GmbH (Cologne, Germany) – now a part of Meda AB (Bad Homburg, Germany). The authors are solely responsible for the design and conduct of the study, collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data, as well as preparation of the manuscript.

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Gellert, S., Ströhle, A., Bitterlich, N. et al. Higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in German pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women. Arch Gynecol Obstet 296, 43–51 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-017-4398-5

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Keywords

  • Vitamin D
  • 25(OH)D
  • Pregnancy
  • Germany