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Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy has negative clinical consequences, such as associations with glucose intolerance, and has been shown to be distributed differently in certain ethnic groups. In some countries, a difference in the rate of vitamin D deficiency was detected in pregnant women depending on their skin color. We examined the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/mL) in women in early pregnancy in Switzerland and evaluated the association of skin color with vitamin D deficiency. In a single-center cohort study, the validated Fitzpatrick scale and objective melanin index were used to determine skin color. Of the 204 pregnant women included, 63% were vitamin D deficient. The mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was 26.1 ng/mL (95% confidence interval (CI) 24.8-27.4) in vitamin D-sufficient women and 10.5 ng/mL (95% CI 9.7-11.5) in women with deficiency. In the most parsimonious model, women with dark skin color were statistically significantly more often vitamin D deficient compared to women with light skin color (OR 2.60; 95% CI 1.08-6.22; adjusted for age, season, vitamin D supplement use, body mass index, smoking, parity). This calls for more intense counseling as one policy option to improve vitamin D status during pregnancy, i.e., use of vitamin D supplements during pregnancy, in particular for women with darker skin color.

Citation

Aline Richard, Sabine Rohrmann, Katharina C Quack Lötscher. Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency and Its Associations with Skin Color in Pregnant Women in the First Trimester in a Sample from Switzerland. Nutrients. 2017 Mar 10;9(3)

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PMID: 28287422

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