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Pre-Eclampsia Linked With Low Vitamin D During Pregnancy

Vitamin D deficiency early in pregnancy is associated with a five-fold increased risk of preeclampsia, according to a study from the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

A serious complication of pregnancy marked by soaring blood pressure and swelling of the hands and feet, preeclampsia is the leading cause of premature delivery and maternal and fetal illness and death worldwide, conservatively projected to contribute to 76,000 deaths each year. Preeclampsia, also known as toxemia, affects up to 7 percent of first pregnancies, and health care costs associated with preeclampsia are estimated at $7 billion a year in the United States alone, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation.

"Our results showed that maternal vitamin D deficiency early in pregnancy is a strong, independent risk factor for preeclampsia," said Lisa M. Bodnar, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) and lead author of the study. "Women who developed preeclampsia had vitamin D concentrations that were significantly lower early in pregnancy compared to women whose pregnancies were normal. And even though vitamin D deficiency was common in both groups, the deficiency was more prevalent among those who went on to develop preeclampsia."


Click here to see the rest of this article in Medical News Today




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