Non-Western Pregnant Women in Netherlands Lack Vitamin D

Dutch researchers call for vitamin D screenings of all pregnant non-Western women

MONDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among pregnant non-Western women living in the Netherlands, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Irene M. van der Meer, M.D., of the Municipal Health Service of The Hague in the Netherlands, and colleagues studied midwives' files that recorded vitamin D concentrations in 358 women, 29 percent of them Western, 22 percent of them Turkish and 19 percent of them Moroccan.

Using an older, conservative definition of vitamin D deficiency -- circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations of less than 25 nmol/L -- they found that 84 percent of Turkish women, 81 percent of Moroccan women and 59 percent of other non-Western women were deficient compared to only 8 percent of the Western women. Because these deficiencies may even be higher under newer definitions, the researchers recommended vitamin D screenings of all pregnant non-Western women.

"Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy not only is linked to maternal skeletal preservation and fetal skeletal formation, but also is vital to the fetal 'imprinting' that may affect chronic disease susceptibility later in life as well as soon after birth," state the authors of an accompanying editorial.

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