Sunshine won’t stop vitamin D deficiency, research reveals
High levels of sunshine won’t stop pregnant women from being vitamin D deficient, new research reveals
High levels of sunshine won’t stop pregnant women from being vitamin D deficient, new research reveals.
Despite high levels of sunshine, low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy are common in Mediterranean women according to a study presented today at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Dublin.
It’s commonly believed that sun exposure is key to maintaining normal levels of vitamin D and therefore assumed that Mediterranean women are at lower risk of hypovitaminosis than those from Northern Europe. However in countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey, Vitamin D deficiency occurs in up to 90% of pregnant populations.
Dr Karras Spiros and colleagues at the Aristotle University of Thesaloniki, Greece carried out a systematic review of vitamin D levels in 2,649 pregnant women and 1,802 newborn babies. They studied the effect of a number of different factors including, age, body mass index, race, socioeconomic status, skin types, period of gestation, sun exposure, calcium and vitamin D intake, smoking status, time of year of birth and pregnancy complications.
Dr Karras said: “Pregnant women with vitamin D deficiencies may be at greater risk of various problems and complications, both for themselves and their babies. It’s imperative for pregnant women and the medical community at large, to recognise the importance of vitamin D in overall health.”
This finding should help lower the prevalence of early childhood diseases associated with Vitamin D deficiency such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, disorders in bone formation, higher risk of emergency caesarean delivery and premature birth.