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BJOG. 2012 Jun;119(7):832-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03307.x. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

Longitudinal vitamin D status in pregnancy and the risk of pre-eclampsia.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sainte-Justine Hospital, University of Montreal, QC, Canada.



Whether vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy is a cause of pre-eclampsia remains controversial. Most previous studies to date have assessed exposure at only one time-point in pregnancy. We assessed longitudinal vitamin D status during pregnancy and the risk of pre-eclampsia.


Prospective cohort study.


Seventeen urban obstetric hospitals, Canada.


Pregnant women who were participants in a trial of vitamin C and E supplementation for the prevention of pre-eclampsia. Canadian participants who consented to participate in a biobank with plasma specimens available at the baseline visit were included (n = 697).


Maternal plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations were measured at 12-18 and 24-26 weeks of gestation using chemiluminescence immunoassay.




Of the women, 39% were vitamin D deficient (25(OH)D <50 nmol/l). A strong positive correlation was observed in maternal 25(OH)D concentrations between the two gestational age windows (r = 0.69, P < 0.0001). Mean maternal 25(OH)D concentrations at 24-26 weeks of gestation were significantly lower in women who subsequently developed pre-eclampsia compared with those who did not (mean ± SD: 48.9 ± 16.8 versus 57.0 ± 19.1 nmol/l, P = 0.03). Women with 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/l at 24-26 weeks gestation experienced an increased risk of pre-eclampsia (adjusted odds ratio 3.24, 95% confidence interval 1.37-7.69), whereas the association was not statistically significant for maternal 25(OH)D level at 12-18 weeks of gestation.


Lower maternal 25(OH)D levels at late mid-trimester were associated with an increased risk of pre-eclampsia.

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