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J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2009 Apr;31(4):313-21.

Seasonal variation of maternal serum vitamin D in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Calgary AB, Canada.



Research has suggested that vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency is common at northern latitudes, and that vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency may be common during pregnancy. We measured the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-[OH]D) status of pregnant women across the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in both summer and winter to investigate seasonal differences, age associations, and differences in geospatial distribution across the province.


We uniformly and randomly sampled blood from pregnant women in each of 79 census consolidated subdivisions across Newfoundland and Labrador from January to March 2007 and from July to September 2007.


We obtained 304 samples from the end of winter (March) and 289 samples from the end of summer (September). Mean serum 25-(OH)D concentration was 52.1 nmol/L in winter and 68.6 nmol/L in summer (P < 0.001); 89% were vitamin D insufficient in the winter and 64% in the summer (P < 0.001); 6.6% were vitamin D deficient in winter and 1.7% in summer (P = 0.003), and younger women tended to be more vitamin D insufficient in the winter than older women. The geospatial distribution of vitamin D insufficiency tends to follow a north-south distribution in the winter.


A significant proportion of pregnant women in Newfoundland and Labrador are vitamin D insufficient. Vitamin D insufficiency may have important adverse health consequences for both the mother and the fetus. Further study is necessary to address health outcomes and effects of vitamin D supplementation and lifestyle changes in this population.

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