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J Natl Med Assoc. 1997 Dec;89(12):805-11.

Calcium and vitamin D status of pregnant teenagers in Maiduguri, Nigeria.

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Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 87131, USA.


This study investigates parameters related to calcium and bone metabolism by determining the concentrations of total calcium, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone, and phosphorous in young pregnant women. The patient population was 30 pregnant Nigerian teenage women grouped by trimester (10 per group), 10 women immediately following delivery, and 21 healthy age-matched controls. On the basis of serum prealbumin levels, the general nutrition of the pregnant women was found to be significantly below that of the more privileged and better-educated nonpregnant controls. The mean total calcium concentration in sera of the third-trimester women was 8.83 mg/dL, which was significantly below that of the controls (9.77 mg/dL) and the first-trimester group (9.30 mg/dL). Despite the 10% to 15% decline in the serum level of total calcium during pregnancy, the parathyroid hormone level decreased markedly from 0.60 to 0.61 ng/mL in the first and second trimesters to 0.41 ng/mL in the third trimester. Serum vitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels in the second and third trimesters were within the normal range. These data indicate that toward the end of gestation, pregnant teenagers in northern Nigeria appear to become calcium deficient and do not exhibit the expected increase in serum parathyroid hormone levels normally seen in pregnant women.

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