Main content area

Vitamin D levels during pregnancy and associations with birth weight and body composition of the newborn: a longitudinal multiethnic population-based study

Eggemoen, Åse R., Jenum, Anne K., Mdala, Ibrahimu, Knutsen, Kirsten V., Lagerløv, Per, Sletner, Line
The British journal of nutrition 2017 v.117 no.7 pp. 985-993
arm circumference, birth weight, blood serum, body composition, body mass index, cholecalciferol, cohort studies, education, gestational age, head circumference, minorities (people), models, nationalities and ethnic groups, neonates, pregnancy, pregnant women, regression analysis, vitamin D deficiency, vitamin status, Norway
We investigated associations between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) in pregnancy and birth weight and other neonatal anthropometric measures. The present study was a population-based, multiethnic cohort study of 719 pregnant women (59 % ethnic minorities) in Oslo, Norway, delivering a singleton neonate at term and with birth weight measurements. In a representative sample, anthropometric measurements were taken. Maternal 25(OH)D was measured at gestational weeks 15 and 28. Women with 25(OH)D <37 nmol/l were recommended vitamin D₃ supplementation. Separate linear regression analyses were performed to model the associations between 25(OH)D and each of the outcomes: birth weight, crown–heel length, head circumference, abdominal circumference, sum of skinfolds, mid-upper arm circumference and ponderal index. In early pregnancy, 51 % of the women were vitamin D deficient (25(OH)D<50 nmol/l). In univariate analyses and in models adjusting for maternal age, parity, education, prepregnancy BMI, season, gestational age and neonate sex, maternal 25(OH)D was significantly associated with birth weight, head circumference, abdominal circumference and ponderal index (P<0·05 for all), when used as a continuous variable and categorised (consistently low, consistently high, increasing and decreasing level). However, after adjusting for ethnicity, 25(OH)D was no longer associated with any of the outcomes. Sex-specific associations for abdominal circumference and sum of skinfolds were found (P fₒᵣ ᵢₙₜₑᵣₐcₜᵢₒₙ<0·05). In conclusion, in a multiethnic cohort of pregnant women with high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, we found no independent relation between maternal vitamin D levels and any of the neonatal anthropometric measures, and the strong association between ethnicity and neonatal outcomes was not affected by maternal vitamin D status.