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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;63(5):646-52. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2008.14. Epub 2008 Feb 20.

Vitamin D insufficiency is common in Indian mothers but is not associated with gestational diabetes or variation in newborn size.

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MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, Southampton General Hospital, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.



Vitamin D is required for bone growth and normal insulin secretion. Maternal hypovitaminosis D may impair fetal growth and increase the risk of gestational diabetes. We have related maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy to maternal and newborn glucose and insulin concentrations, and newborn size, in a South Indian population.


Serum 25 hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations, glucose tolerance, and plasma insulin, proinsulin and 32-33 split proinsulin concentrations were measured at 30 weeks gestation in 559 women who delivered at the Holdsworth Memorial Hospital, Mysore. The babies' anthropometry and cord plasma glucose, insulin and insulin precursor concentrations were measured.


In total 66% of women had hypovitaminosis D (25(OH)D concentrations <50 nmol l(-1)) and 31% were below 28 nmol l(-1). There was seasonal variation in 25(OH)D concentrations (P<0.0001). There was no association between maternal 25(OH)D and gestational diabetes (incidence 7% in women with and without hypovitaminosis D). Maternal 25(OH)D concentrations were unrelated to newborn anthropometry or cord plasma variables. In mothers with hypovitaminosis D, higher 25(OH)D concentrations were associated with lower 30-min glucose concentrations (P=0.03) and higher fasting proinsulin concentrations (P=0.04).


Hypovitaminosis D at 30 weeks gestation is common in Mysore mothers. It is not associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes, impaired fetal growth or altered neonatal cord plasma insulin secretory profile.

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