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Am J Perinatol. 2011 Oct;28(9):667-72. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1276731. Epub 2011 Apr 15.

A nested case-control study of first-trimester maternal vitamin D status and risk for spontaneous preterm birth.

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  • 1Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gilling School of Global Pulic Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7516, USA.


We assessed if first-trimester vitamin D deficiency is more prevalent in women who experienced a spontaneous preterm birth compared with women who delivered at term. We conducted a nested case-control study of pregnant women who had previously given blood for first-trimester combined screening for trisomy 21 and subsequently delivered at a tertiary hospital between November 2004 and July 2009. From an overall cohort of 4225 women, 40 cases of spontaneous preterm birth (≥ 23 (0/7) and ≤ 34 (6/7) weeks) were matched by race/ethnicity with 120 women delivering at term (≥ 37 (0/7) weeks) with uncomplicated pregnancies. Banked maternal serum was used to measure maternal 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]. The prevalence of first-trimester maternal vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L] was comparable among women who subsequently delivered preterm compared with controls (7.5% versus 6.7%, P  = 0.90). The median 25(OH)D level for all subjects was 89 nmol/L (interquartile range, 73 to 106 nmol/L). Seventy-three percent (117/160) of the cohort had sufficient vitamin D levels [25(OH)D ≥ 75 nmol/L]. In a cohort of pregnant women with mostly sufficient levels of first-trimester serum 25(OH)D, vitamin D deficiency was not associated with spontaneous preterm birth.

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