Sunday, 25 November 2012

Beijing mums and babies have severe vitamin D deficiency

More than 50% of pregnant women had vitamin D deficiency
by Michael Woodhead
Pregnant women living in Beijing are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency, and many babies are born underweight because their mothers lack of the vitamin, Chinese researchers have shown
Clinicians from the Department of Pathology and Experimental Medicine at the 306 Hospital of PLA, Beijing measured vitamin D levels [25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D] in seventy pregnant woman and also analysed the health of their babies
They found severe vitamin D deficiency  (levels below 25 nmol/l) in 55 % of mothers and 47 % of newborns. Neither mothers nor newborns had vitamin D concentrations that reached the normal level (over 75 nmol/l). In addition the levels of vitamin D in mothers was positively correlated with that in the unborn (i.e. in placental cord blood). The research show that newborns of mothers with severe vitamin D deficiency had lower birth length and birth weight. The baby's head circumference and birth weight were lower in vitamin D-deficient newborns.
"[Our] study indicates that pregnant women and neonates residing in Beijing are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency.  [Vitamin D] concentrations are dependently related to maternal 25(OH)D levels. Maternal and neonatal vitamin D status influences newborn size," the researchers conclude.
Read more: Public Health Nutrition

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