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Vitamin D Deficiency Common in Babies of Moms at Risk

Newborn infants of dark-skinned or veiled mothers were at high risk for vitamin D deficiency

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Newborn infants of mothers with dark skin or those wearing concealing clothing, such as a veil, are at high risk for vitamin D deficiency at birth, according to study findings published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood in September.

S.H. Dijkstra, of Sint Franciscus Gasthuis in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues studied a population of pregnant women from a Dutch hospital, comparing vitamin D levels in 48 newborn infants of mothers deemed to be high risk for vitamin D deficiency to 38 infants in a control group. Women were included in the high-risk group if they had self-reported intermediate- or dark-colored skin or used veiled clothing.

The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was higher in newborn infants of mothers at risk compared to controls (63.3 percent versus 15.8 percent). The risk of vitamin D deficiency was highest in infants of veil-wearing mothers, with a prevalence of 90.9 percent. Infant alkaline phosphatase levels were significantly elevated in the risk group, though levels were still within normal range.

"Further research is necessary to determine the long-term consequences of maternal and neonatal vitamin D deficiency so that guidelines on vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy can be issued," the authors conclude.

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